The Education System in Cyprus has four stages: pre-primary, primary, secondary and higher.
Pre-primary Cyprus Education
Nursery schools operate all over the island, all under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education and Culture. These are:
The Public Nursery Schools are established by the Ministry of Education and Culture in collaboration with parent’s associations and community authorities.
The Communal Nursery Schools, which are established and run by parents’ associations or community authorities and are registered with the Ministry of Education and Culture. The Ministry of Education and Culture contributes with a substantial yearly subsidy.
The Private Nursery Schools are established and run by individuals with the approval of the Ministry of Education.
Primary Cyprus Education
Primary education is free and compulsory and its duration is six years. At the end of their six-year schooling, Primary schools leavers receive a leaving certificate. The main evaluation procedure adopted is the continuous one. No written examination is given at any level. Foreigners residing in Cyprus could enter the primary schools. Each case is treated differently but generally speaking children with language problems could be given the status of observers for a year until they are fully assimilated. There are Private Schools, which mainly work in the English language. They are available in all towns of Cyprus.
Public Secondary Cyprus Education
Public secondary education offers a six-year programme of instruction for children aged twelve to eighteen. Lower Secondary Education caters to pupils aged twelve to fifteen and offers a broad spectrum of general education. A general education orientation is compulsory for the first three years when children reach their fifteenth birthday. Private foreign-language primary school leavers must undergo a battery of entrance examinations to enter public secondary schools.
Higher Secondary Education (Lyceum), for students from the age of fifteen-eighteen follows a more flexible and diverse orientation, catering to individual inclinations, aptitudes and interests. Attendance is compulsory for the successful completion of graduation requirements.
Private Secondary Cyprus Education
A number of non-profit and profit-making secondary establishments ranging from missionary boarding schools to vocationally oriented institutions and foreign language centres offer tuition in specialised fields. Funded by overseas organisations and/or religious denominations and local entrepreneurs, private secondary schools offer students the opportunity to pursue qualifications that would ensure:
Their smooth transition into the professional sphere or the business world;
Their admission to overseas Universities or local tertiary education establishments of their choice for diploma or degree studies.
Although private secondary schools maintain a considerable degree of independence in their operation and curricula, the majority of them are registered with the Ministry of Education and Culture and comply with certain curriculum and facility requirements mandated by law.
Curriculum programmes for most private secondary schools extend over a six-year period with emphasis on general education for the first three years. Foreign language schools have six-or seven- year curriculum programmes with English, French, Italian or Arabic as the basic languages of instruction. A few private secondary schools are attached to primary schools providing an integrated twelve – or thirteen – year programme. There are no entrance examinations except in certain foreign language schools.
Higher and Tertiary Education
Higher education is provided by public institutions and private third level institutions, which award diplomas below first university degree level.