Administration, Finance, & Educational Research
According to Law 12/1965, the highest authority for making and shaping educational policy is the Council of Ministers. The Ministry of Education is responsible for the administration of education, policy, curricula, personnel preparation, hiring and promotions, enforcement of laws and regulations, and resource allocation and budget. Preprimary, primary, and secondary education are under the authority of the Ministry of Education. The Ministry of Education is advised in its policies by the Educational Council.
The president appoints the Educational Service Commission, an independent five-member committee with a six-year term. The commission has authority over appointments, promotions, transfers, disciplinary measures, and dismissal of teacher and instructors.
Construction, maintenance, and the equipping of school buildings are the responsibility of local school committees under the supervision of the technical services of the Ministry of Education. Committees may be appointed by the Council of Ministers, or, in rural areas, may be selected by community members. The committees have regional functions concerning the educational budget, which they submit to the Ministry of Education of the upcoming school year; they also submit a detailed financial statement at the end of each year for a state audit.
The most recently available figures show that government expenditures on education at all levels have reached 217.5 million Cyprus pounds, which accounts for 13.8 percent of the state budget and 5.0 percent of the island's GDP. There were 163,800 full-time students at 1,208 educational institutions on the island, with more than 80 percent enrolled in public institutions. The total number of teaching staff reached 10,984.
Public education is mainly financed by the government through school committees. In addition, elected members of the central committee of the Parents' Association (PA) assist schools financially by raising money through various events to support particular needs and school programs. The national assembly of the PA is a powerful pressure group and policymakers take the PA into account at all times.
The process followed for the design and diffusion of curriculum change in Cyprus has been a centre-periphery model (Schon 1971), operating in a highly centralized system (Kyriakides 1999). Inspectors control the design of the curriculum, the implementation through the provision of guidelines and advice to teachers, and the evaluation by being responsible for teachers' appraisal. No mechanism exists for consulting teachers.
A lack of systematic research in the field of research in Cyprus has been noted (Kyriakides 1999). The research studies that are undertaken are mainly small-scale and uncoordinated (UNESCO 1997). An important implication from the lack of any research for the evaluation of curriculum change is that no innovation has been designed for the specific conditions of Cyprus (Kyriakides 1999). It is important for the Ministry of Education to establish a national educational research unit (UNESCO 1997) to conduct research into curriculum policy and to inform pedagogical debate.
Despite 35 years of existence, the Ministry of Education has yet to pursue a complete analysis of all of Cyprus's tertiary education needs, costs, and benefits (Biggs 1992). A strategic plan to encompass private and public tertiary education, the Cyprus University, students traveling abroad, students coming from abroad, and a serious analysis on how to proceed is very much needed (Orphanides 1995).
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