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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 29th December 2008, 07:32 PM
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hi my daughter is 7 and son 11 and i have put them in greek local school in Konia and they are doing good -have been there a few weeks now .. my only disappointment is no after school club .. I lived in South Africa for 15 years and i went to international school and found it so hard to become friends with the locals and found that english clung to english and needed so much extra tutuion were i had friends who went to local schools and did ok .. well early days yet -but think local schools are ok !
I think it is far better to put children into the local schools if you intend to live here permanently. It helps them to integrate into the community and also helps parents to become more accpeted than if they seperate their children by putting them in the international schools.
I know people who have children in both systems and the ones who go to the local schools are far happier here.
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Old 30th December 2008, 05:18 PM
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I agree with Veronica in some ways, but do bear in mind that many Cypriot families spend a small fortune on extra tuition in the afternoons and evenings as the state schools do not prepare students for IGCSEs or A levels required for University entrance. State schools have a liberal and broad curriculum which leads to an apolyterion (school leaving certificate) which is NOT equivalent to A levels. Admissions tutors used to accept them (before Cyprus joined the EU) as Cypriot students were classified as overseas students and represented lots of extra cash for UK Unis. Now, however, they are classified as home students and have to compete. At the last UK Higher Education Fair in Nicosia, the majority of UK Unis stated that they would no longer include the aployterion as part of the equivalence to A levels (the problem being that the quality of the certificate is not externally moderated) and required students to have A levels (which state schools do not offer). Many of the intake of international schools are not ex-pats, but local Cypriot students (especially in Nicosia) and the number of locals in English medium private schools is increasing rapidly as Cypriot families catch onto the fact that their children have to compete for University places now that Cyprus has joined the EU.

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Old 3rd January 2009, 03:46 PM
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Well that is not good news, but is important for us to hear, there are not enough views from parents regarding schooling on the net.
The school does look impressive, but that is not important compared to a good relationship between parents and staff, good results, and a kind and caring environment for the children to thrive in.
For most parents who want to move over, the school situation can be the make or break decision.
I hope your children settle into their new school, and hopefully it is not too far from where you live.
Thanks for sharing that info.

Kind regards

Jac

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Old 4th January 2009, 10:03 PM
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Hi may I ask where your children are at school now and how are they getting on?


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Old 5th January 2009, 11:54 AM
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in greek school in Konia -Paphos - its a small schooli thnk 157 pupils

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Old 6th January 2009, 07:41 AM
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Private schools in Cyprus have only internal quality assurance systems of varying effectiveness. The fact that there is no external moderation of standards has been the major stumbling block to admissions tutors accepting leaving certificates as equivalents of A levels. Many private schools on the island have no quality assurance mechanisms at all. In my experience the schools with the excellent reputations locally <snip> rely on the exclusive entrance examinations to cream off the ablest students who simply muddle through on their own to achieve good results (and also benefit from huge amounts of afternoon tuition foisted on them by overbearing parents). They have excellent facilities, but are first and foremost family businesses. It is often the case that staff are in some way related (and it is a case of not what you know, but who you know when it comes to staff).

There are very good private schools that employ properly qualified staff and have reasonably robust QA systems, staff training etc in place, but they are few and far between. In choosing a school, my advice would be to speak to the administration and have them convince you that they have an inclusive admissions policy, their staff are properly qualified (Teacher Qualified Status certified for primary teachers and PGCEs or equivalents for secondary teachers), they have an ESOL programme (English for speakers of another language) so that class time is not taken up by explaining the lesson in different languages, they have a proper counseling service and an effective and active PTA which has direct access to the Principal and Executive of the school. If they are unconvincing in any of these matters, move on to the next school, which will probably be in another district!

State secondary schools are very much a hit and miss affair when it comes to quality. They do have a system of inspectors, but it is in its infancy when it comes to effectiveness and staff training has been (until recently) almost non-existent. The State registers any Cypriot national who has a degree (in any subject) as potential teachers who join a waiting list. They are issued with a number and then simply wait for their number to come up. This can take 5, 10 perhaps even 15 or 20 years (if at all). This means individuals could have a career far removed from education and children and then be called up to teach. They invariably take the job if their alternative career is in the doldrums as a teaching post is considered a plum job as it has civil servant status with huge fringe benefits, free medical care, insurance, pension and relatively good wage structures. More recently, new teachers have to undergo a fairly rigorous training period in the Pedagogical Institute, so things are improving massively, but there are still a lot <snip> in the State system that are simply going through the motions for the benefits and counting down the days to retirement. Some state schools are excellent with fabulous teachers, others are less successful. The State also has a habit of reassigning teachers and heads every year so that the configuration of a school is constantly in flux. As I pointed out in a previous post, the State Schools also do not offer A levels or their acceptable equivalents, so most children end up doing a grueling programme of afternoon private tuition for their advanced studies if they want to go abroad for a University Education.

Before I get too carried away with running down the private and state schooling sectors of Cyprus, I should point out that I left the UK Higher Education system (where I was a senior External Examiner and heavily involved in Quality Assurance) because of the shabby state of UK education. <snip>. Cyprus does have its problems when it comes to education, but they do not compare with those many of us left behind, or are seeking to escape in the UK.

In some ways then, we should celebrate that Cyprus is not hamstrung by overcomplicated inspectorates and audits (which lead to fudging and cover-up and spending far too much time presenting facts and figures and less time teaching). But this does put the pressure on confused parents to make the right choices for their children. Ultimately that choice will be personal and depend on so many factors. It is, in my view, possible to get an excellent education in Cyprus (after all its population is the second most highly qualified on the planet after Canada, so they must be doing something right!) I hope this post goes some way in helping parents make their choices.


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Old 13th January 2009, 03:39 PM
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Kimonas,

Just wanted to say thank you for such an informative post, as you can see by all the 'hits' you have had, this is such an important subject to so many.
Thanks for going to so much trouble, you have really provided insight into the system.
Not that I have managed to make a decision myself!
Kind regards,

Jac

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Old 24th January 2009, 01:02 PM
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Hi me and my partner are moving to cyprus with our 2 children(6 and 2) in august, we went to view ISOP when we came over around the new year and i knew my son wouldn't like it, we were introduced to his teacher if he started and she was very strict and didn't smile once and told us and our son that children haven't got a choice and must do as their told, also they have only 1 hour of greek a day and i've heard from a girl who used to go to the school that they don't really concentrate on greek,

i'm lucky as my partner who was born in england but his parent's are cypriot and can help my son with his greek so have enrolled him in a state school in kissonega, and i've recently found out the school has a high rate of english childen who are florishing also some state school supply english children with a hour of greek so they can catch up.

I think you only live once and i believe i'll be offering my family especially the children a better way of life, hope you find all the info your looking for.xx
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Old 24th January 2009, 01:13 PM
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Think you have done the right thing for your child he is young and will adapt well, more so with having back up from grandparents.Ihope all goes to plan . all children are differant you know how your own child will cope,what works for some does not work for others go for it.
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Old 24th January 2009, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimonas View Post
I agree with Veronica in some ways, but do bear in mind that many Cypriot families spend a small fortune on extra tuition in the afternoons and evenings as the state schools do not prepare students for IGCSEs or A levels required for University entrance. State schools have a liberal and broad curriculum which leads to an apolyterion (school leaving certificate) which is NOT equivalent to A levels. Admissions tutors used to accept them (before Cyprus joined the EU) as Cypriot students were classified as overseas students and represented lots of extra cash for UK Unis. Now, however, they are classified as home students and have to compete. At the last UK Higher Education Fair in Nicosia, the majority of UK Unis stated that they would no longer include the aployterion as part of the equivalence to A levels (the problem being that the quality of the certificate is not externally moderated) and required students to have A levels (which state schools do not offer). Many of the intake of international schools are not ex-pats, but local Cypriot students (especially in Nicosia) and the number of locals in English medium private schools is increasing rapidly as Cypriot families catch onto the fact that their children have to compete for University places now that Cyprus has joined the EU.
Kimonas you say many Cypriot families spend a small fortune on extra tuiton. If you look at Emilios post he pays over 7,000 per year for the IOP.
I cannot imagine that Cypriot parents need to pay anywhere near that ammount for any tuition that might be needed. Maybe I am wrong though

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