Provision of education in the middle school years in Cyprus
The aim of this study is to examine the type of education offered during the middle school years in Cyprus. At first an attempt is made to define middle school years and relate this concept to the educational system of Cyprus and other countries. The History of Education in Cyprus is briefly surveyed to set the background against which the Gymnasium, a distinct educational unit catering for the middle school years, has evolved and reached its present form. The aims, objectives, structure and content of the Gymnasium are examined in detail. Qualitative and quantitative measures are employed to investigate the role of the Gymnasium within the educational system and the degree to which this role is successfully accomplished. The results reveal that on the whole, content and time span of the Gymnasium are satisfactory. There is, however, a strong feeling that there is scope for improvement in the content of the curriculum in order to make it more effective. On the basis of the findings of the present survey a model of a new educational unit is presented which intends to bridge the gap between the primary and secondary education at its lower end and pave the way to the smooth transition from the free compulsory to the upper secondary level of education. The programme of the new unit is hoped to serve more effectively the primary aim of the concept of the democratisation of education, namely the provision of equal educational opportunities to all according to individualised goals, needs, abilities and talents. Finally certain recent developments in the educational system of Cyprus and their implications for the future of the Gymnasium are discussed. A proposal for the reorganisation of secondary education is developed and its merits are presented.