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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Fundamental principles and national policies


2.Organisation and governance

2.1Fundamental principles and national policies

Last update: 27 November 2023

The current educational system is regulated by the 1960 Constitution and the provisions of Law 24(I)/1993. Article 20 of the 1960 Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus outlines the fundamental principles that govern the entire education system. As stipulated, every person has the right to receive and every person or institution has the right to give instruction or education, provided that it will be in accordance with the Republic’s laws. Education provision may only be restricted for reasons of the security of the Republic, or the constitutional order, or the public safety, health, and morals or the standard and quality of education or for the protection of the rights and liberties of others including the right of parents to secure for their children such education as is in conformity with their religious convictions. Furthermore, Article 20 stipulates that free and compulsory primary education, as well as education other than primary, should be made available as it will be provided by relevant laws.

Based on the above stated fundamental principles, official documents of the Ministry of Education and Culture, such as the school curricula and others, stipulate equal opportunities, democratic structures and mutual links between education and real-life - social, cultural, economic.

In accordance with Article 20 of the Constitution, Law 24(I)/1993 provides for free education from the age of 4 years and 8 months to the age of 18 (end of upper secondary education), and compulsory education from the age of 4 years and 8 months to the age of 15 (end of lower secondary education). Parents or guardians of minors who fail to register and send them to school during these specified periods are subject to a penalty.

Law 24(I)/1993 also provides that the textbooks published by the Ministry of Education and Culture in Cyprus are provided free of charge to teachers and pupils. It also assigns to the Council of Ministers the authority to decide for provision of transport, either subsidised or free of charge, to pupils living at a distance from the school they attend.