8.5 Developing cultural and creative competences
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Acquiring cultural and creative competences through education and training.
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 and technology as well as literature are taught as separate obligatory 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 education, there are specialised schools for students with a talent in music (Μουσικά Σχολεία). There is only one music school in every city. Based on an all-day school format, music schools are integrated in the state educational system. In addition to the official school curriculum, the music school programme includes additional music subjects in all grades, offered as afternoon classes.
The Pharos Arts Foundation, in the context of its Music Education Programme, presents educational concerts, master-classes and music workshops for the benefit of pupils of state and private schools from different ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds.
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 information at the sub-chapter 8.4 ‘’Reducing obstacles to young people’s access to culture’’ and ‘’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) is the official department of the Ministry of Education,, 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 a 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.
- Each year, the CPI also offers a list of seminars/workshops to teachers of all disciplines in various topics, such as Museology, technologies useful in music education, creative thinking in the learning process, etc.). The list for the school year 2020/2021 is available only in Greek (Κατάλογος Προαιρετικών Σεμιναρίων 2021-2022).
Educational programmes are also offered by the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra for pupils and their teachers on a yearly basis. Educational concerts, open rehearsals and school specific educational projects are designed to promote musical knowledge, musical skills and creativity, aiming to connect school music education with community music, foster a diverse and comprehensive education for future artists, and increase public participation in arts.The Department of Educational Technology (DET) of the Ministry of Education,, 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, Sport and Youth.
Lastly, Cyprus Theatre Organisation organises separate workshops (Εκπαιδευυτικά προγράμματα ). 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 (Καλοκαιρινή Σχολή Ηγεσίας και Δημιουργικότητας) 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 ’’Up To YOU(th)’’ Festival (Φεστιβάλ Nέων “Up To YOU(th)” 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 Larnaka 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. Centres 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, Theatre and Art. The workshops target children and young people aged 6 - 35 years old.
The 1st ’’E2steam Cyprus Festival’’ was implemented last year for the first time. The Festival included presentations, interactive workshops, an educational conference for teaching the E2STEAM subject, exhibitions, and competitions related to Environment and Sustainable Development, Entrepreneurship, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (E2STEAM). The University of Nicosia and the Yputh Bpard of Cyprus were the co-organizers under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, Sport, and Youth and the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation, and Digital Policy. The sponsors of the Festival were the Commissioner for the Environment and the Citizen Protection Commissioner.