Cyprus - Education

Adult illiteracy rates for the year 2000 were estimated at 3.1% (males, 1.3%; females, 5.0%). In 1959, the Greek and Turkish communities were made responsible for their own school systems. Education is compulsory for nine years, with children attending six years of primary school and six years of secondary. In 1997, there were 376 primary schools with 4,202 teachers and 64,761 students attending them. At the secondary level, there were 4,934 teachers and 61,266 students attending in that same year. The pupil-teacher ratio at the primary level was 15 to 1 in 1999. In the same year, 82% of primary-school-age children were enrolled in school, while 78% of those eligible attended secondary school. Cyprus has no college, so about 14,000 Cypriot students were studying abroad in 1983, including some 3,000 in the United States. The Greek community made plans to open a university for both Greek and Turkish students. Unwilling to agree, the Turkish community instead upgraded the Higher Technological Institute, which is situated near Famagusta, to university level. It opened under the name of Eastern Mediterranean University in 1986. In 1997 the number of students enrolled in post-secondary institutions totaled 9,982, with 1,061 teachers. As of 1999, public expenditure on education was estimated at 5.8% of GDP.

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