Following the accession of Cyprus to the European Union as a full member state (2004), economic migrants have been arriving in the country in larger numbers than ever before. Migrant children are accepted for enrolment in any secondary school according to their residence, enjoying equal education rights as Cypriot students.
Aiming to support their quick integration in the school society, the Ministry of Education and Culture has been running, since the school year 2008-2009, a programme of intensive teaching of the Greek language, which is the language of instruction in the Greek-speaking schools. Ninety-one secondary schools, out of a total number of 127 on the island, with about 1,250 migrant children, are participating in this programme, which was evaluated by the Educational Research and Evaluation Centre. On the basis of the evaluation results and the suggestions offered, the Ministry has taken measures in order to reinforce it and improve its effectiveness.
According to regulations, foreign-speakers are placed in normal classes together with Cypriots, attending the same lessons and syllabi as their Cypriot peers except for Religious Studies, Ancient Greek and Common Core History, during which they withdraw to form special classes and study the Greek Language.
Along with the intensive teaching of Greek, a «Reception Guide» for migrant families, translated into the eight most dominant foreign languages that appear on the island, has been prepared and recently reprinted, ready for use in all secondary schools.
The pedagogical Institute of Cyprus has trained the Greek teachers who have been appointed to teach migrant children in the framework of the programme.