Both the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot part of Cyprus have compulsory and free compulsory school. In Greek Cypriot, southern part, the school duty is nine years, while it is one year shorter in the north.
The Greek Cypriot children start school at the age of six. After the first six years there follows a three-year, compulsory high school, after which the three-year upper secondary school is voluntary. According to the UN agency Unesco, 97 percent of children started school in 2014. That same year, 95 percent of students went on to high school after completing the first six classes.
The Turkish Cypriot children start school when they are seven years old. A five-year low and middle school is followed by a three-year high school. These first eight years are compulsory, while the three-year high school is optional.
- COUNTRYAAH: Country facts of Cyprus, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.
The Greek Cypriots have traditionally had a higher proportion of highly educated in their population than the Turkish Cypriots, while the Turkish Cypriots have a higher average level of education than Turks in Turkey.
Southern Cyprus’s first university was opened in 1992. In 2014, there were 48 higher education institutions in the southern part of the island. In northern Cyprus, a university was opened as early as 1986, and there are about ten institutions for higher studies. Of the more than 71,000 students who went there in 2014, about a fifth were Turkish Cypriots, the others came from other countries, mainly Turkey.
History education in Cypriot schools has long been criticized, partly for giving more space to Greece (in the south) or Turkey (in the north) than to Cyprus itself, and partly to provide an angled image for the benefit of its own population. Since Mehmet Ali Talat became prime minister in the north of 2003, he had to rework Turkish Cypriot schoolbooks to give them a more objective, more impartial picture, but the new history teaching has been discouraged by some teachers.
Before the new Cyprus negotiations in 2008, Dimitris Christofia’s government in the south wanted to implement a similar reform. The measure sparked fierce debate and was criticized, among other things, by the Disy party and the church.
- Searchforpublicschools: Offers schooling information of Cyprus in each level – compulsory, technical and higher education programs.
FACTS – EDUCATION
Proportion of children starting primary school
97.4 percent (2015)
Number of pupils per teacher in primary school
Reading and writing skills
98.7 percent (2011)
Public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP
16.3 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on education as a percentage of the state budget
16.3 percent (2015)
Cyprus relieves coronary restrictions
President Anastasiades announced in a televised speech that the country is now gradually beginning to ease the tough rules that have prevailed since the beginning of March to fight the corona virus. Initially, smaller shops and markets will open, while the construction industry will also be ready to start operations again. The public sector is also reopening. Still, residents will need to stay home, but instead of going out once a day, they will be able to leave home three times a day. From the end of May, restaurants and cafes as well as hairdressing salons will remain open. Southern Cyprus has officially had 843 cases of covid-19 while 15 people have died in the disease. Northern Cyprus has had just over one hundred cases of the infection and four deaths.
Turkish Cypriot elections are postponed
Parliament of Northern Cyprus decides in a vote to postpone the elections scheduled for April 26. It will now take place six months later, on October 11. Until then, Mustafa Akinci will remain on the presidential post to maintain the board during the transition period. The reason for moving the election forward is the ongoing corona crisis, which has now also spread to northern Cyprus, where 33 cases of covid-19 have been reported. In the southern part of Cyprus, the number of cases confirmed is 67.
Cyprus is facing entry stops for foreigners
President Nicos Anastasiades announces that only people who have citizenship or a special right to reside in the country, such as students and diplomats, will be admitted into the country for the next two weeks. In addition, all schools and universities are closed. The reason for the measures is to try to stop the disease covid-19 (caused by the new coronavirus that started spreading globally in early 2020). So far, Cyprus, including the northern Turkish Cypriot part, has some 30 cases of illness. The measures will hit hard for the important tourism industry.
Cyprus, Israel and Greece sign gas pipeline agreement
Prime Minister Nicos Anastasiades, together with Israeli and Greek prime ministers, sign the final agreement to build a 190-mile gas pipeline, EastMed, to transport natural gas from Israeli and Cypriot gas fields to Europe. The management is supposed to be drawn via the Greek island of Crete and the Greek mainland to Europe. The goal of the European countries is not least to reduce dependence on Russian gas.