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Descriptions of the legal system for assessment - Cyprus

The Educational System

The State is responsible for providing free compulsory education to children from the age of 4,8 years till the age of 15. It offers education in nursery, primary, gymnasium and lyceum.

All levels of education are under the authority of the Ministry of Education and Culture, which is responsible for educational policy making.  Pre-primary school provides compulsory education from 4,8 years.  Primary schools offer compulsory education from 5,8 years to 12.  The core subjects are language (Greek) and mathematics.  For each subject of the curriculum there is a statutory time allocation. 

The main objective of education in Cyprus is to “develop free, democratic and autonomous citizens who, using their mental and physical growth, will help actively in the social, scientific, economic and cultural progress of the country and who will promote co-operation and love between people, always aiming for freedom, justice and peace and always having as their guidance the idea of a free country…” (Ministry of Education and Culture, 2002, p.17)

General Educational Assessment

Assessment is one of the main factors for successful education.  In 1994, for the first time, the curriculum suggested that assessment be made through tests (criterion referenced, curriculum based assessment), observations, interviews, and pupil’s self-assessment.  This was the first time that suggestions were made for policy on assessment (Kyriakides, 1996).

According to the 1997 Regulations for the Functioning of Public Schools, a pupil is promoted each year from one grade to another according to his/her age.  In nursery and primary schools no form of assessment is conducted for purposes of promotion to the next class.

The assessment of pupils, which forms an integral part of teaching, aims at gauging the degree of success of its aims as they are set by the curricula.  Assessment is expected to combine a variety of types and techniques so that it can achieve a reliable, objective and fair evaluation of the knowledge, the critical thinking and the skills of the pupils, contribute to self-knowledge and autonomous thinking as well as how well pupils acquire objective information, the level of their learning capabilities.  In addition, assessment provides the education system with information on the results of its tasks and gives feedback on the teaching and learning process, so that there can be continuous improvement.  Assessment is also a way for parents to be informed about their children’s performance.  Finally, it creates incentives for learning in an environment of co-operation and mutual respect either by the creation of competitive spirit or by the mere individual satisfaction of attaining high performance and acquiring knowledge.

A pupil is assessed on:

  • His/her involvement in the daily work in the class and his overall activities at school.
  • The results of his/her performance as presented in written tests
  • Projects and other activities.

Formative assessment is conducted throughout the school year for continuous monitoring and control of the teaching/learning process in view of finding out and tackling possible problems as well as finding out the suitability of the teaching methods and tools employed.

As defined in the Cyprus Curriculum for Primary Education of 2002, assessment is an on-going and systematic procedure of identifying the level of achievement of the teaching goals.  Assessment of the pupils’ achievement is also assessment of the effectiveness of the teaching procedure itself.

Through assessment it is expected:

  • To gain information on the level of success of each pupil
  • To specify the weaknesses of pupils on certain topics
  • To improve and promote learning procedures
  • To gain information on the suitability of the teaching goals
  • To gain feedback for adjustments and reform of the national curriculum



  • Ministry of Education and Culture (2002) “Curriculum Program for Primary Education” Nicosia.
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