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Preamble - Cyprus

With the declaration of the Independence of Cyprus in 1960, the responsibility of education of the Greek community was entrusted to the Ministry of Education of the Cyprus Republic, which was founded under Law 12 of 1965.

In 1972 education became free and compulsory for the primary level and for the lower secondary level, up to the age of 15. In 2004 pre-primary education became compulsory (from the age of 4,8 years).

The functioning of public schools is regulated by legislation through the “Regulations for the Operation of Public Schools 223/1997”. Special Education has its own legislation which is the “Law for Special Education and Training of children with Special Needs 113(I)1999”.

The school curricula and methodologies used in the classrooms emphasize the process of learning and focus on strategies that will help the children learn how to learn and use creative and critical thinking. Attendance in primary schools is compulsory.  Children should be at least five years and eight months old, in order to get enrolled in the first grade.

The Department of Primary Education is responsible for the pre-primary educational programs offered at nursery schools for children aged three and above.  Pre-primary education includes the following types of nursery schools: public kindergarten, communal kindergarten, which are supported by community and parental involvement and private kindergarten.

The Department of Primary Education has under its supervision the schools for children with Special Needs.  Currently, there are nine special schools functioning in the country.  Specialists also provide special education within the mainstream of primary schools.

A school year begins early September and ends in late June, with two weeks holiday for Christmas and Easter.  A school day begins at 7:45 until 13:05.

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