Cyprus will provide new educational programmes at state schools for children with a migration background, Education Minister Prodromos Prodromou has said.
Over 17,000 children whose mother language is not Greek are currently attending state schools throughout Cyprus, he added, before unveiling the new programmes during a press conference on Friday afternoon.
“Two are the main beneficial factors behind the essential strengthening of education and integration of children with a migration background,” he also said.
“Firstly, the obvious one which dictates that public schools must provide them equal, high quality education. That is, they should not just attend schools but also receive provided education with the best possible results,” he added.
Prodromou also said that for 19 per cent of children in kindergarten and 16 per cent in primary schools – a total of about 10,500 — Greek is not their mother language.
In addition, 19 per cent of pupils at lower secondary school and 14 per cent in upper secondary school – that is about 6,000 to 6,500 – do not have Greek as their mother language either.
These children primarily come from Syria, Romania, Bulgaria and Georgia.
To start with, the Minister also said, learning the Greek language is key since this helps them better understand the country’s culture, history, European values and the social environment.
That’s why the new programmes in primary education as from the next school year include the fast learning of the Greek language.
In addition, teachers’ training and systematic evaluation of both the foreign students and related curricula is also part o the new policy.