A study of the Greek-Cypriot public education system, 1974-1994
It is the aim of this study to examine what has been done in Cyprus in the field of education since 1974 when Cyprus faced the devastating consequences of the Turkish invasion which affected all aspects of life in Cyprus and consequently education. Special interest, however, is shown in the development of education prior to 1974 in order to show how decisively the political, social and economic factors influenced the present day education. The introductory chapter describes briefly the aims of this study, the strategy for research and the main sources consulted aiming at providing a compactly general picture of this study. Chapter 2 provides some information concerning the background and history of Cyprus and concentrates on the factors influencing the development of education in Cyprus to 1974. In Chapter 3 is presented a picture of the battle for control of education which was intensified after the 1974 coup launched by the Junta of Athens against President Makarios and the Turkish invasion which caused a crisis of national identity. The same chapter examines the system of educational administration which is highly centralized and a less rigidly centralized system is proposed. Pre-primary, Primary, Secondary and Higher Education is discussed in Chapters 4,5,6 and 7 respectively. Pre-primary education has made great strides and is considered to be necessary for the normal development of children. Its rapid development, however, was necessitated after the 1974 catastrophe when an increasing number of women joined the work force. In Primary education the curriculum which has been developed emphasizes the child's active participation in all aspects of life placing the child in the centre. The graduate entry into primary education creates better prospects for its further improvement. After the Turkish invasion the role of Technical Education became more important since the rebuilding of Cyprus economy was based, to a great extent, on this level of education. Despite the progress made in the field of Technical Education, the prejudice against it hinders its further expansion. The efforts invested in the task of developing Secondary Education after independence have produced results since there have been major innovations, the most important being the Lyceum of Optional Subjects introduced in 1980, which served Cyprus for 15 years and is expected to be replaced by the new proposed system of the integrated Lyceum. The third-level institutions, both in public and private sectors, achieve high standards. However, the educational development in Cyprus reached its apogee with the establishment of the University of Cyprus. Teachers in Cyprus constitute the cornerstone of the educational system; therefore, Chapter 8 is devoted to the teaching profession in Cyprus; the current situation is explained, some problem areas are highlighted and possible solutions are suggested. Finally, the introduction of a Pastoral care system and a Bilingual Education project in schools in Cyprus is examined in the last two chapters.