Pupil and Student Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education
Pupil mobility at this level of education takes place either through the Comenius – Mobility Actions or other programmes/activities supported by national or EU funds. Real mobility takes place at the upper secondary level, while programmes at lower levels of education involve virtual mobility including the use of internet and teleconferences.
The Comenius programme addresses the teaching and learning needs of all those in pre-school and school education and the institutions and organisations providing such education. It funds several types of Actions related to school education, such as Mobility, Partnerships, and Multilateral Projects and Networks. Mobility Actions enable individuals to travel abroad to take part in a project. Cyprus joined the Comenius Programme in 1997. In 2011, Cyprus was allocated total €1,048,538.00. In the period from 2007 to 2011, a total number of 234 schools participated in the Programme, of which 111 were secondary schools, 80 primary schools, 6 kindergartens, 9 schools of special education and 28 private schools.
Other programmes or activities promoted at school level, which gave the opportunity to students and the teaching staff to be involved in school links, either at a European or international level, include the following:
• Ecological Schools. This is a European environmental programme aiming at the promotion of sensitivity for the environment.
• Young Reporters for the Environment. This is a programme for secondary school students studying environmental issues and reporting their findings through the mass media. At the European level they communicate with students of other countries through websites.
• Spring Day for Europe (Άνοιξη της Ευρώπης). This is a European project focussing on democracy and citizenship. It offers the opportunity to young people to make their voices heard on European issues.
• SEMEP (South Eastern Mediterranean Environmental Program). This is a UNESCO programme-network of environmental education that promotes scientific study of environmental problems at school level.
• GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment). This is an international programme that relates students, teachers and researchers with a common aim to learn more about the environment.
• Golden-Green Leaf (Χρυσοπράσινο φύλλο). This is an environmental programme of Greek-Cypriot cooperation, which involves the schools cooperating in twos and studying the same topic.
• Seed - Source of Life (Σποράκι – Πηγή Ζωής). This is a network of a number of schools from Greece and Cyprus in environmental education.
• IKADE (ΟΙΚΑΔΕ). Α programme that aims to develop communication and relationships between pupils in Cyprus, Greece and Greek-speaking pupils attending schools in other parts of the world. It operates on two levels – through the internet, where a Greek "planet" exists open to all, and through teleconferences between pupils attending Greek-speaking community schools anywhere in the world and their classmates in Cyprus or Greece.
A substantial number of secondary schools also participate in various programmes of school links and exchanges, as well as international conferences aimed at promoting cooperation between schools from various countries and enhancing understanding among young people. All of these programmes are supported and funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture.
Teacher mobility takes place in the framework of the Comenius-Training of Educational Personnel Action and the Study Visits Action and Erasmus+ School Education Programme.
Under the Comenius-Training of Educational Personnel Action, the Cyprus National Agency (Ίδρυμα Διαχείρισης Ευρωπαϊκών Προγραμμάτων Δια Βίου Μάθησης) approved 39 applications from primary and secondary school teachers, at a total cost of €81,477.00, in 2011. The National Agency also approved 5 applications from prospective teachers at a total of €46,188.00 in the same year.
Under the Study Visits Action, 13 experts in educational and training policy participated in meetings or activities of one week duration, at the cost of €21,230.00, in 2010/11. Another 14 applications have been approved, at a total cost of €22,020.00 for the school year 2011/12
Under the Erasmus+ School Education Programme, the Foundation for the Management of European Lifelong Learning Programmes(Ίδρυμα Διαχείρισης Ευρωπαϊκών Προγραμμάτων Δια Βίου Μάθησης) approved 27 applications from Early Childhood, Primary and secondary school teachers, at a total cost of €238,895,00 in 2017.