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Young people’s talents and creative skills are supported through the educational system since cultural topics are offered as obligatory subjects throughout the curriculum in the lower and upper secondary level of education. Arts, music, design & technology and literature are taught as separate subjects. Dance, theatre, photography etc. are either included in other subjects or they are performed through the realisation of cultural events and the participation in relevant programmes.
At the secondary level there are specialised schools for students with a talent in music. There is only one school in every city therefore the access to all youngsters is not facilitated widely since the public transportation is limited for people living in the rural areas. At the level of upper secondary education students can also choose to attend the fine arts departments in vocational education and training system.
Adult Education Centres operate in all non-occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus (rural and urban), offering learning opportunities for further personal, professional, cultural and social development to thousands of adults aged 15 and over. They offer a variety of interdisciplinary courses, which focus mainly on the teaching of foreign languages, arts and crafts, cultural programmes, health and other issues of general interest, as well as on the teaching of professional and vocational skills.
As for non-formal learning and youth work opportunities targeting at stimulating cultural and creative skills through funding or relevant courses you can find the information at the sub-chapter 8.4 ‘’Reducing obstacles to young people’s access to culture’’ and the ‘’Fostering innovation through non-formal and informal learning and youth work’’ of sub-chapter 6.7 (Education and Training) on Youth Wiki.
The Cyprus Pedagogical Institute (CPI), according to a Council of Ministers Decisions (August 2015, July 2017) is the official department of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth which runs teachers’ professional learning. It offers a variety of training programmes that are repetitive and compulsory for teachers, mainly because they are provided by the education laws or their service plans, or because these programmes are developed with reference to the current needs and the context of schools.
All schools of Cyprus are expected to proceed to a needs assessment procedure in order to define their specific needs. Then, according to their needs, each school organises its own training programme for the teachers, making use of plethora of training programmes offered by the Institute or elsewhere.
Such training programmes are:
- Music teachers’ in-service training programme that includes amongst others: music counselling seminars, the annual inspectors’ seminars, one-day choir conference, school networks, visits, music technology seminar, teaching resources development and implementation based on Adequacy and Attainment Targets.
- During the school year 2017 - 2018, the Inspectors and the Art Education advisors carried out a series of actions to support the implementation and dissemination of the Visual Arts Curriculum in everyday teaching through: Teacher training, guidance and support, the development of supporting materials, continuation of the online educational platform for communication of Art Education Teachers, in the context of the Edmodo platform. Through this online community, teachers that teach visual arts have the opportunity to communicate with their peers and exchange information, lesson plans, photographic material and videos, with the purpose to enrich their knowledge bank and improve their teaching.
The Department of Educational Technology (DET) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth implements programmes of continuing professional learning in the areas of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), designs research and practice, proposes new educational implementations and promotes innovations related to the use of new technologies in education. At the same time, it provides pedagogical and technical support facilitating the effective use of ICT, including online learning, communication and management. In addition, DET implements projects that support the work of the Ministry’s ICT Unit and more specifically the Use of ICT in teaching and learning sub-unit. The focus of the activities planned and implemented is on the Education and Training 2020 European priorities as well as the Cyprus Digital Agenda. Under this scope, a lot of actions on Opening up Education through digital technologies have been taking place, with an emphasis on transversal skills needed for the digital society, as well as effective teaching and learning.
More information can be found in the 2019 Annual Report of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth.
Lastly, Cyprus Theatrical Organization organizes separate workshops specifically for primary or secondary school teachers. Two weeks before a theatre premiere, the production team meets with teachers and students during a rehearsal. The visitors are invited to watch how the director works with actors and then engage in a creative dialogue with them and other theatre professionals involved in the particular production. Participants are given printed material with information regarding the actors and other theatre contributors, the performance and its preparation. They also receive certificates of participation.
There is no specialised training, directly organised or funded by top-level authorities, for educators and youth workers.
The Youth Board of Cyprus (YBC) has introduced over the last years a number of initiatives for boosting innovation and creative skills to all young people in the island as mentioned in chapter 6 (Education and Culture) sub chapter 6.7 Fostering innovation through non-formal and informal learning and youth work. The most important are:
The Youth Leadership Academy which introduces young participants to creative ways of thinking and to ways to develop and exhibit leadership skills in order to put their innovative ideas in action.
The Youth Festival is organized every year from Youth Board of Cyprus. The aim of the Festival is to promote the programs and services of the Youth Board, but mainly to highlight the action that the young people themselves develop. This is achieved through the participation of youth organizations and organizations who are active in issues related to young people, the presentation of innovative actions developed by groups of young people or individuals, the presentation of artistic expression and creation and finally the presentation of actions related to human rights, social discrimination, environmental actions etc. It includes many activities such as NGO Fair, open discussions, workshops, presentations, art installations, concert, dance, and more.
The Youth Makerspace provides access to high quality and high-tech equipment for the development of prototypes and for the implementation of business ideas. Makerspaces around the world have democratised the fields of design, engineering, construction, creation and education.
The SΤΕΑΜers program is based on the standards of S.T.E.A.M. Centers abroad. Initially, they refer to Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics. The program offers workshops in Robotics, Programming, Film Making, Photography, Graphic Design, Creative Writing, Music, Theater and Art. The workshops target children and young people aged 6 - 35 years old.