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The Education System in the Republic of Cyprus has four stages: pre-school, primary, secondary and higher education.

Nine years of education are compulsory (and free at state schools): from Primary School (age 6) to the end of the third year of Secondary School (age 15).

Pre-school Education

The Ministry of Education and Culture has approved all nursery schools (or kindergartens) operating on the island, whether a state-run nursery school or a private nursery school. The Ministry of Education and Culture also determines the curriculum to be followed. There are 3 categories of nursery school:

- Public nursery schools operate under the authority of the Ministry of Education and Culture, working in collaboration with parents' associations and community authorities. All teachers are qualified, while the teaching assistants must have completed secondary schooling.

- Communal nursery schools are run by parents' associations or community authorities and are registered by the Ministry of Education and Culture.

- Private nursery schools are privately established and owned. However, they are all approved by Ministry of Education and Culture and operate according to the Private Schools' Law, 1971, of the Republic of Cyprus.

Primary Education

Primary education is compulsory in Cyprus and free at state schools administered by the Government. Education at private schools is not free and fees vary from school to school (direct enquiries can be made at the school).

Primary education is a six-year period. Children may enter the Primary School system from the age of 5 years and 8 months.

In urban areas and in larger schools where each class is single-grade, the six-year primary school period is broken into:

Cycle A: Grades 1 to 3 (for ages 6 to 8 years)

Cycle B: Grades 4 to 6 (for ages 9 to 11 years)

When primary school is completed a child will receive a leaving certificate.

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.

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 third-level institutions.

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