Cyprus

Nicos Papadouris
Yiasemina Karagiorgi
Sofia Vlami
Center for Educational Research and Evaluation

Overview of Education System

The education system1 in Cyprus is managed centrally by the Ministry of Education and Culture (MoEC). The MoEC is responsible for the administration of education, the enforcement of laws, and the preparation of the education budget.2 The MoEC formulates the intended curriculum for all subjects, including mathematics and science. The Educational Service Commission, an independent five-member body, appoints, transfers, promotes, and dismisses teachers in public schools.3

School education is provided through public and private preprimary, primary, and secondary institutions. It is compulsory for children ages 4 years and 8 months to 15. Public education is free for children ages 4 years and 8 months to 18.

Preprimary education is provided for children ages 3 to 5 years and 8 months, in public, community, and private schools.4 Preprimary education is compulsory for children ages 4 years and 8 months to 5 years and 8 months.5 Primary education is provided for children ages 5 years and 8 months to 11 years and 8 months, in  public and private schools. Secondary education in public schools is provided for students ages 12 to 18, in two 3-year levels: gymnasium and lyceum.6 The gymnasium level is compulsory and comprises general education. In lyceum (secondary) schools, students study core compulsory subjects and optional subjects in line with their interests. As an alternative to lyceum schools, students may attend secondary technical and vocational schools. Secondary education also is provided by private schools.

Languages of Instruction

The official languages of Cyprus are Greek and Turkish. English is spoken as a foreign language by the vast majority of the population.7 The language of instruction in all public schools is Greek, and in some private schools it is English.