Funding school actions and interventions for Health Promotion
Schools can apply for financial support in order to carry out their own school interventions in relation to Health Promotion. Many schools focused on developing their pupils’ personal and social skills, promoted self-esteem, and in general promoted health as a holistic process, supported families and promoted children’s creativity (e.g. through film and art workshops, learning IT together, drama workshops and music workshops), provided summer school activities in areas of social and economic deprivation and so forth.
Task Force on School Violence
Under the framework of supporting Primary and Secondary School units in regard to dealing with school violence/aggression and juvenile delinquency, the Ministry of Education and Culture has formed the “Task Force on School Violence”. The Task Force comprises of educators, counsellors and psychologists with a background on school violence, remedial programmes and policy development.
The purpose of the Task Force is the development, promotion and follow-up of an action plan pertinent to each school that needs their intervention, which can provide a holistic approach to the specific problem. The teachers of each school, educational psychologists, the social support workers, the parents and the local community, are encouraged to become involved in this process. The Task Force has the authority to accelerate processes, provide economic subsidies where needed and provide support for the implementation of the action plan. Finally, the Task Force promotes prevention programmes, with the objective of minimising juvenile delinquency in schools.
Observatory for Violence in Schools
The Observatory for Violence in Schools records, codes, analyses and evaluates data regarding the extent and the forms of violence in schools. It also collects quantitative and qualitative data concerning good practices for the prevention of violence in schools, national and international research on school environment, on school violence and juvenile delinquency.
About 13,9% of pupils attending public primary schools and 11,5% attending public nursery schools do not speak Greek. The Ministry of Education and Culture policy regarding the education of foreign pupils aims at their smooth integration into the Cyprus Educational System. In response to the demands of contemporary society and the changing social environment, the Ministry is promoting the implementation of differentiated educational measures and policies to assist in the smooth and effective integration of groups with different cultural and linguistic identities.
Multicultural education is currently being practised in Cyprus in the form of various support measures. These measures can be categorized as measures for language support, which refer to the learning of Greek as a second language, and measures for facilitating the smooth integration of groups with different cultural identities. The model that is currently being used is the mainstreaming programme, in which foreign pupils participate in classes along with the native Greek-speaking pupils. There is also a flexible system of intervention within the regular school timetable. This involves placing foreign pupils in a separate class for a specific number of teaching periods per week. These separate classes focus on intensive learning of Greek and offer specialised assistance according to the pupils’ specific needs. The Adult Education Centres offer afternoon classes in Greek as a second language to the children of repatriated ethnic Greeks, but also to all other foreign pupils interested in this subject.
Museum Education Programmes
The Museum Education Programmes, which are implemented under the auspices of the Ministry of Education and Culture, have been running since 1996 in the museums of the non-occupied areas of Cyprus and address all primary education pupils. The Museum Education Programmes are based on the philosophy, content and fundamental pedagogical principles of the curricula. They aim at social, emotional and cognitive development, the cultivation of critical thinking and creativity, promotion of cooperation, lifelong learning and offering the joy of learning to pupils. These educational programmes also aim at a direct connection of the school with museums allowing teachers and schools to open up to the museums and culture of Cyprus. Moreover, they give the opportunity to teachers to develop creative and educational activities through structured themes and rich supporting material.
Art Education Programmes
The Directorate of Primary Education, in collaboration with other services and relevant bodies implement Art Education programmes in art galleries and museums in Cyprus for all primary education pupils. These programmes aim to open up children to culture and aesthetic development, through an experiential approach.
Environmental Education Programmes
Many schools implement various environmental education programmes. The aim is to make today’s pupils autonomous and active citizens, who are environmentally aware, possess relevant knowledge, realize the seriousness of the issues and have the skills, as well as the willingness, to become agents of change in the direction of problem solving. Such programmes are:
- the European programme “Ecological Schools”;
- the “Golden-Green Leaf” programme, which is a collaboration between Greece and Cyprus
- the programme “Seed-Source of Life”
- the programme “Learning about Forests”.
Furthermore, the Environmental Education Centres are being fully utilized and give pupils the opportunity for more in-depth engagement with environmental education. Environmental Education is also part of the educational programme of the educational and summer camps of the Ministry of Education and Culture.
Physical Education Educational Programmes
In its efforts to upgrade the lesson of Physical Education, the Ministry of Education and Culture has implemented the following programmes:
- Olympic Programme – Sports Days/Events of Summer and Winter Sports (e.g. water sports, skiing, bowling, badminton, gymnastics, rugby, athletics): The Directorate of Primary Education in cooperation with the Cyprus Sport Organisation, the Cyprus Olympic Committee and the sports federations has established the Olympic Programme “Sports Days/Events of Summer and Winter Sports”. The aim of this programme is the participation of children in as many sports as possible aiming to create a positive impact on their lives and for them to adopt exercise as a lifetime habit.
- Olympic Education Programme: This programme is under the auspices of the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Cyprus Olympic Committee and aims at the promotion of the Olympic values and ideas.
- Physical Education in All-Day Compulsory Schools: In this type of school great emphasis is given to the Olympic values and ideas with increased teaching time in the timetable allocated to Physical Education (one additional period for 1st to 4th grades, two additional periods for 5th and 6th grades), compared to the two periods in the timetable of regular schools.
- Physical Education in All-Day Voluntary Schools: Pupils have the option of choosing two periods of Physical Education (games/dancing) among other elective subjects. Most children, about 70%, choose Physical Education.
- Active School Breaks: Programmes are implemented in schools encouraging pupils to participate in a variety of physical activities during break time. Physical activities, especially non-competitive ones, are organised for all pupils, according to their abilities. Active school breaks have led to a reduction of school delinquency and bullying.
Directorate of Primary Education, Ministry of Education and Culture
Kimonos and Thucydides Corner, 1434 Lefkosia
Telephone: 22800661, Fax: 22428277