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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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SOME 10 days ago, foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides raised expectations by announcing the possibility of a deal with Turkey for the opening of the fenced off area of Famagusta, for the return of its inhabitants. In exchange the Cyprus government would agree to the opening of Tymbou airport to direct flights. ...
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By George Psyllides PRIVATE auditors have expressed doubt the electricity authority (EAC) could be considered a going concern and have asked its board to draft a credible plan to tackle the problem, according to the auditor-general’s 2012 report on the semi-state company. Among other issues, ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Top of the class ]

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CYPRUS is one of only three EU countries which pours the highest percentage of GDP into public education, and was one of the best performers in the EU’s annual education report released yesterday.

Denmark, Sweden and Cyprus allocate nearly 7 per cent of their GDP for public investment in education, the report said.

“These are the highest levels in the EU and among the highest in the world,” it said, adding that Japan with 3.5 per cent of GDP and the US with 4.8 per cent, “trail the EU”, which averages around 5 per cent of GDP on state education.

The report, which uses indicators and benchmarks, looks at individual country's performances in key areas such spending, completion of secondary education, early school leavers, and graduates in maths, science and technology.

Cyprus came out top on the increase in spending, upping expenditure on education by 1.5 per cent since 2000. It also topped the list of EU countries when it came to the share of the population with higher education attainments. Some 30 per cent of Cypriots of working age have higher-level education compared to 9.9 per cent in Romania, the lowest percentage in the bloc. Cyprus was ahead of Finland’s 29.5 per cent while the EU average was 25 per cent.

Olympia Stylianou, the Permanent Secretary of the Education Ministry told the Cyprus Mail they were pleased with the results.

“In the last few years we have been focusing on reforms and the objective is to maximise the quality of education,” she said. “Our indicators are high but we could get higher if we solve various problems.”

The EU report shows improvements almost across the board in Cyprus since the year 2000.

Enrolment in pre-primary education has jumped from 55 per cent of under-fours seven years ago to 70 per cent in 2006, even though the figure is still some 15 per cent below the EU average.

In the EU last year 14.8 per cent of children dropped out of school before they were 18. In Cyprus the figure was 12.6 per cent, down from 18.5 per cent in 2000. In Spain Portugal and Malta, over 30 per cent left school early.

Last year, more than 85 per cent of Cypriot children were in upper secondary education, over 90 per cent of girls and 80 per cent of boys. Seven years ago only 79 per cent in total were still in school.

Just over ten per cent of Cypriot children attend private secondary compared to an EU average of 21 per cent. In Spain and Malta some 30 per cent of children attends private school, in Belgium 57 per cent, and in the Netherlands 76 per cent. In Ireland only 0.6 per cent go to private schools.

The number of Cypriots going abroad to study is also increasing. In 2005 the percentage studying abroad had increased to 56.5 per cent of all tertiary students from 54.8 per cent in 2004 and 46.5 per cent in 2003. This jump is likely related to the ability to fee-free studies in some member states as a result of Cyprus` EU membership in 2004. The EU average of students studying outside their own country is only 2.3 per cent.

The vast majority of graduates in Cyprus – the figures do not include Cypriots studying abroad at present – had studied social sciences and business, followed by qualifications in the services sector, education sector, engineering, humanities and maths and science.

However in the latter category only 4.3 per cent were studying in this field, compared to an average of 13 per cent across the EU. In Ireland 21 per cent of students gradate with maths, science and technology degrees.

Interestingly Cyprus, Malta and Romania also have the highest levels of younger teachers in the bloc.

A quarter of teachers in Cyprus are under 30 years old, while 13 per cent are over 50 and a small minority over 60 years old. In most of the other countries the number of teachers aged over 50 ranges from 18 per cent in Poland to 54 per cent in Germany. Ten per cent of German teachers are over 60.

(Source: Cyprus Mail)

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