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Secondary Education


A child cannot enter secondary school without a leaving certificate showing completion of primary education.

The secondary school period is six-years and is for children from age 12 to 18. The first three years are compulsory, with school leaving permitted after the fifteenth birthday. There are no entrance examinations for a child moving from a state owned primary school however, school-goers who have completed primary school at a private foreign-language institution must undergo a series of entrance examinations to be allowed to attend Cypriot public secondary schools.

  • State run secondary schools are co-educational
  • The school day runs from 7:30 to 13:35
  • The school week is a five-day week, Monday to Friday, usually broken into seven periods of 45 minutes each
  • The school year begins in September and ends in June
  • Examinations take place in June
  • The school year is broken into three trimesters: September to December, December to March and March to May

A child cannot continue to the next level without passing examinations.

The secondary school cycle is broken into two phases:

  • Gymnasio Cycle (lower secondary)
  • Lykeio Cycle (upper secondary)

Lower secondary school (Gymnasio)

This is a period of general education for ages 12 to 15.

Vocational guidance

Much attention is given to vocational guidance in the last year of the Lower cycle and career guidance is available throughout the Lykeio Cycle from counsellors assigned to the role at each school. They also act to monitor students with emotional problems and pupils from dysfunctional families.

Upper secondary school

The Lykeio Cycle comprises two types of schools: the Eniaio Lykeio and Technical and Vocational Schools.

Upper secondary school (Lykeio) Eniaio Lykeio
Admission is available to pupils who have completed and passed the Gymnasio Cycle. The curriculum diversifies at this point into three distinct programme curricula, all leading to a school leaving certificate (Apolytition). The final examinations for the third and final year are organised externally from each school. Papers are marked by teachers from schools other than where they teach - they do not mark their own pupils' papers.

Secondary technical and vocational education (STVE)
After completion of compulsory secondary education - the Gymnasio Cycle - a pupil can continue with a three-year technical education (STVE) provided they have a leaving certificate. Both the technical (a focus on the sciences) and vocational (a focus on technology, industry and workshop training) educations look at the theoretical and practical aspects of the subjects.

Successful completion of secondary technical or vocational education allows a graduate to attend a tertiary institution.

Higher and Tertiary Education

Higher education is available in Cyprus at state owned institutions (The Cyprus University) and private tertiary (third-level schooling) institutions.

Adult Education Centres

The Ministry of Education and Culture offer adult education programmes (epimorfotika) in the form of afternoon and evening classes in various subjects at local public schools.

Amongst the courses on offer are; foreign languages, arts and crafts, dance, vocational skills, computer skills and cooking, Greek language programs are offered to foreigners, immigrants and other residents of Cyprus.

Courses start in November of each year and run in 50 or 90 minute sessions, twice a week. Applications can be made at a local Adult Education Centre or online. The registration period is from the first week of September to the second week of October. The group instructor contacts applicants by telephone at the beginning of November with the details of the time and day of the course.

Fees

  • Urban areas: €51
  • Rural areas: €41
  • Communities with less than 500 residents: €20
  • Computer courses (urban areas, rural areas, communities with less than 500 residents): €59
  • Greek language courses: free
  • Turkish language courses for Greek Cypriots: free
  • Persons aged of 65 and above: free

To find a local Adult Education centre visit the MOHC site. The MOHC has a list of all courses operating in each area and an application form. The Ministry of Education and Culture has more information on Adult Education Centres.