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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Teaching and learning in primary education


5.Primary education

5.2Teaching and learning in primary education

Last update: 27 November 2023

Reinforcement Teaching of the Greek Language

The Council of Ministers approved on June 23, 2023, a Proposal of the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth (ΥΠΑΝ-MESP) to strengthen the Program of Remedial Teaching of the Greek Language for children with an immigrant background in Primary Education schools that do not participate in the DRA.SE Program + (School and Social Integration Actions).

This Decision provides for the support of Primary Education schools that do not participate in the DRA.SE+ Program, with additional teachers, to meet the increased needs for remedial teaching of Greek to children with an immigrant background who attend these schools.

The goal of the Ministry of Education, with the implementation of the decision, is the more effective integration of children with an immigrant background into the educational system of Cyprus.

Online Learning Action on Internet Security

With the participation of thousands of students and dozens of primary school teachers from different geographical areas of Cyprus and Greece, the online educational action: "Athena and Dicky in The Magic World of the Internet ", about Internet security, took place.

This educational action was co-organized, for the first time, in December 2021, from the Cyprus Safe Internet Center - CYberSafety, coordinated by the Cyprus Pedagogical Institute, of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth, and the Center Safe Internet in Greece

The action aimed to empower creative and critical students in matters of creative, responsible, and safe use of the Internet. About 200 departments of Grade A’ and Grade B’ of Primary school in Cyprus and Greece, participated in this specific educational event.

Implementation of a pilot program STEM in Primary Education.

Pilot program STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Program has been teaching in a pilot program in eight primary schools since 2021.The operation of STEM program is also planned to be implemented in Secondary Education.

The program which states the educational policy and direction promotes an integrated interdisciplinary approach to the learning process. Children are involved in activities that provide them with opportunities to utilize knowledge, concepts, processes and practices in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics to address situations and issues related to the world of everyday life.

The students complete projects through which they seek, design, elaborate and propose innovative solutions to various issues of the 1-day experience, in a context of coexistence and synergy of the four disciplines.

Training for Special Education teachers and educational psychologists in the "Safe State" Program

The Cyprus Institute of Education in collaboration with the Department of Primary Education organizes in the current school year a series of training sessions on special/unified education. In this context, training on sexual education of children with disabilities will be provided to teachers working in Special schools and educational psychologists. This training is part of the framework of the National Strategy against Sexual Abuse and Child Abuse and Child Pornography (2015).

The training is based on the European 'Keep me Safe' educational program, which aims for the co-operation among European countries in the formulation of intervention programs and prevention of sexual abuse and violence against young people with learning disabilities (10-25 years).

Environmental education

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport, and Youth enhances students' experiential learning and healthy creative employment by creating environmental camps at the State Network Environmental Education Centers.

An important educational action will be launched in July 2020, linked to the utilization of the State-run Environmental Education Centers (SEECs) during the summer months as places for creative and healthy childcare when schools are closed.  Through this new environmental action, the aim of the Ministry is, in addition to providing children with the opportunity to learn about the environment of our country, through organized activities in environmental areas, to enhance the socialization of children through alternative learning-based processes in games and more broadly in creativity.

Grant for the purchase of a tablet for Grade 3 students and a laptop for grade 2 Gymnasium students

In the context of the recovery and Resilience plan and specifically the project "Digital Transformation of school units to strengthen digital skills and skills related to STEM education", the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth will proceed with the grant purchase of tablets and laptops.

The goal of digital transformation of teaching and learning as well as of the development of students' digital skills will be enhanced through the student support.

The Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth will grant a €100 grant for the purchase of tablets for the 3rd grade students of public Primary schools and €300 sponsorship for the purchase of laptop computers for the 2nd grade Gymnasium students in public schools. The grant will be given to families receiving child benefit with annual gross income of the previous year up to €19500.

Curriculum, subjects, number of hours

The National Curriculum for public primary schools is determined by the Council of Ministers upon suggestions by the Ministry of Education and Culture. A new curriculum is being gradually implemented since September 2011 in public primary schools. This is part of an integrated curriculum that covers all levels of school education, pre-primary, primary and secondary. The new curricula have been compiled in the framework of the ongoing Educational Reform with the aim of upgrading the whole education system.

The initiative started in June 2008 by the establishment of a Scientific Commission for the Revision of the School Curricula (Επιστημονική Επιτροπή για την Αναθεώρηση των Αναλυτικών Προγραμμάτων) and it was completed by the work of teams of specialists for each subject, consisting of university teachers and teachers of primary and secondary education. A period of public consultation followed before the new curricula be officially accepted and published.

The new curricula encompass the broad aims of education in Cyprus; fundamental pedagogical principles; subject related principles; aims and objectives; and, the content for every curriculum subject for all grades. The curricula also encompass elements of teaching and learning methodology; indicators of achievement; methods of evaluation; and, indicative teaching activities.

The broad aim of the new curricula is to contribute to the development of people that:

• Possess a satisfactory and connective body of knowledge from all areas of science; • Develop behaviors and attitudes that characterize a democratic citizen; and, • Possess, to the maximum possible degree, abilities, skills, and competencies that are required in the ‘knowledge society’ of the 21st century, which include: critical thinking; theoretical thinking and the ability to transfer theory into practice; analysis and planning abilities; problem-solving; creativity; cooperative abilities; optimal and sensible use of ICT; empathy; and, communication skills.

The curriculum is common to all public primary schools. All the subjects are compulsory and they are taught in Greek. There are no core curriculum options and no subjects are taught in a language other than the language of instruction. The time allocated to each subject varies according to the school type, that is whether the school operates with one class, two classes, three to five classes or six or more classes.

The New Timetable in Primary Education (starting the school period 2015-2016) lists the subjects taught and the teaching periods devoted to each subject for each grade per week, as they are used for the type of primary school with six or more teachers. Reference is also made for schools with fewer than 6 teachers.


  • The teaching time for the Greek Language has increased by 2 periods.
  • The teaching time for Mathematics in classes A’, B’, C’, D’ has increased by 2 periods and 1 period for classes E’ and F’.
  • The teaching time for English has increased by 1 period for classes A’ and B’.
  • The teaching time for Physics has increased by 1 period for classes E’ and F’.
  • The “Zone of Consolidation” has been canceled for all classes

The maximum number of students in each class will be 25.


Subject allocation in weekly periods in primary schools with six or more teachers


1 2 3 4 5 6
Language and Civilisation

(Greek Language/Literature/Theatre)

12 12 10 10 9 9 62
Mathematics 7 7 7 7 6 6 40
History 1 1 2 2 2 2 10
Religion 2 2 2 2 2 2 12
Knowing my world

(Geography/School Garden/Knowing Mother Land)

1 1 2 2 2 2 10
Natural Sciences and Technology 2 2 2 2 3 3  14
Art 2 2 2 2 2 2 12
Music 2 2 2 2 2 2 12
Physical Education 3 3 3 3 3 3 18
English 2 2 2 2 2 2 12
Design and Technology/Health Education - Home Economics -- -- -- -- 2 2 4
Life Education

(Health Education/Environmental Education – Education for Sustainability)

1 1 1 1 -- -- 4
Environmental Education – Education for Sustainability 3 3 5 5     16
Total 35 35 35 35 35 35 210

Teaching methods and materials

The Ministry of Education and Culture does not prescribe guidelines for teaching methodologies to be used in public primary schools. As all teachers are university graduates, they are expected to be familiar with modern teaching methodologies and techniques and to be able to apply the best method according to the needs of the class and the requirements of the curriculum. The system of inspections ensures that teachers are using appropriate and up-to-date classroom methodology in their teaching.

Teachers are expected to take the following principles into account when organizing the teaching of the various subjects of the curriculum:

● Consider school to be a place in which all children are accepted as they are, with their own capabilities and weaknesses, and are treated as individual personalities with particular needs and talents, which must be met accordingly;

● Create a pleasant, friendly and encouraging working environment, offering each child the opportunity to succeed;

● Promote, as possible, an interdisciplinary approach in order to provide consistency in education;

● Consider their pupils’ abilities in defining lesson objectives. 

The Curriculum Development Unit of the Pedagogical Institute is responsible for the preparation of books and audio-visual material that teachers and pupils use during their lessons. Books prepared by the Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs of Greece are also widely used. All of this material is provided to schools and pupils free of charge. All core teaching texts are the same in the public primary system. However, a school may buy and use supplementary materials with the financial support of the Local School Board or the Parents’ Association, provided that they have prior been approved by the Ministry of Education and Culture.

Homework is considered an indispensable part of the teaching and learning process. Principles and guidelines on homework are found in a number of circulars of the Department of Primary Education. Amongst others, it is stipulated that due consideration should be paid both to the amount and the type of the homework set so that it will be suitably graded in terms of difficulty and in accordance to the age and ability of the pupils. Teachers should also consider the resources available in the home and the parents’ attitudes against homework.