Secondary education in Cyprus

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General Secondary Education in Cyprus is a six-year educational program for students between the ages of 12 and 18. The Upper cycle of the Public Secondary General Education offers a three-year program for older students between the ages of 15 and 18.

It is made up of the Gymnasium (school) (Lower Secondary School), where the main concentration is a general humanistic education. Education is compulsory until the age of 15.[1] From there students attend the Lykeio/Lyceum (Upper Secondary School), a more flexible educational system which offers various specializations depending on the inclinations, skills and interests of the students. Technical and vocational education tracks are also available.[2]

Timetables[edit]

The School year runs from September 10th to May 20th. Students attend classes from Monday through to Friday, starting at 7:30am and finishing at 13:35pm. During this time they are awarded 3 breaks: 1st break @ 9:00am for 15 minutes, 2nd break @ 10:45am for 25 minutes, and 3rd break @ 12:40pm for 10 minutes. Periods are 45min in length and students have 35 periods in their week.

The School Holidays are: October 1, October 28, December 23 until January 6, January 30, March 25, April 1, May 1, Good Monday – Friday after Easter Week, Holy Spirit, Green Monday, and the Summer holidays from June to September.

Certification of secondary education[edit]

  • Unified Lyceum: An indicative certificate (for those who successfully complete grades A and B) or a School Leaving Certificate (APOLYTERION), for those who graduate, is awarded at the end of the school year to all successful students. The School Leaving Certificate is a qualification for employment in office work.[3]
  • Secondary Technical and Vocational Education: After successfully completing the program, students of TVE are awarded a School Leaving Certificate (APOLYTERION), which is recognized as equivalent to a School Leaving Certificate of a public three-grade Upper - Secondary school.

Presence of Clubs at school[edit]

The Unified Lyceum Program «Action – Creativity – Social Contribution» (A.C.S.) is organized by the school and is approved by the Ministry of Education and Culture.[4] The program is compulsory for all students and their participation is a prerequisite to a successful completion of the curriculum for each grade and for obtaining a school leaving certificate. The activities that have been organized by schools so far, are now regulated, enriched and upgraded through this program.

Uniforms[edit]

School uniform is compulsory for all students in Cyprus.[5] The uniform comprises grey trousers or jeans for boys, grey skirts or jeans for girls and white, black or grey T-shirts. There is also a special uniform for PE classes.

Costs[edit]

Secondary education in Cyprus is free for all students.

Private lessons[edit]

Private lessons in Cyprus are very common. Almost all students prepare for external exams, usually GCE A´ and O´ Levels through private tuition, to ensure access to foreign universities, especially in the UK. A lot of students, especially in Lyceum, take private lessons for difficult subjects.[6]

Access to University or schools of higher education[edit]

Access to Public Tertiary Institutions in Cyprus and Greece can be achieved through the National Entrance exams, while the School Leaving Certificate can ensure access to private tertiary institutions.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]