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North Cyprus Education
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Education in North Cyprus

Primary Education / Secondary Education / Higher Education / Language Schools / Libraries

Education is one of the fastest developing spheres in TRNC. It aims at developing the abilities of Turkish Cypriot individuals of all the age groups both for their personal benefit as well as that of the society as a whole. Full time education is compulsory and free for all children between the ages of 5 and 17. Most of schools are maintained from the government funds. However there are also private schools which offer expanded curricula for the students.

Public schools and colleges

Public or government-funded schools and colleges are teaching subjects in Turkish. English (commonly), German or French are learnt by pupils as second languages. Expatriate children study in English, with Turkish as a second language. The Government schools and colleges are run in accordance with a curriculum appointed by the Ministry of Education and embrace children aged 5 to 17.
The marking scheme functions on the basis of a rising scale of 1 to 10, and to proceed to the next year group students must achieve at least mark 5. Assessment is accomplished by mid-term and end-of-term examination over the two terms per academic year and there are also reports issued twice a year - at the end of the winter and spring terms.

Private schools and colleges

Private educational sector uses English (with Turkish as a second language) or Turkish (with English as a second language) as medium of instruction, and the third option is one of the foreign languages. Private schools offer education by charging a certain annual fee from the students. Private schools are monitored and approved by the Ministry of Education and must follow the principals relating to basic curriculum, assessment, disciplinary issues and standards of teaching. As the private schools provide longer hours and terms, they are able to extend the curriculum and some follow the UK Key Stages, IGCSE, the Cambridge Young Learners Scheme, SATs and TOEFL. An essential part of the curriculum is Information Technology. Extra-curricular activities take a great part in the educational process as they are aimed at developing the natural gifts of children: fine arts, music. sport, etc.


Pupils of any school are to wear uniform. They have classes from Monday to Friday. The day in schools and colleges usually starts at 8.30 a.m. and finishes at lunch time (minimum) or at 3.30-4.00 p.m. (maximum). In private schools the day is longer: the classes usually finish at around 3.30-4.30 p.m. Schools and colleges have summer holiday lasting from the middle of June to early September. Private colleges often provide summer schools and organize a wide choice of activities and trips.

The educational system of Northern Cyprus is comprised of five main stages:

  • Pre-school education - provided by kindergartens and crèches for the children between the age of 4 and 6).
  • Primary education - provided at elementary schools and designed for the children between the age of 7 and 12).
  • Secondary education - divided into middle school and senior high school for children at the age of 13-15 and 16-18 correspondingly).
  • Higher Education - provided by 5 universities in the TRNC: Eastern Mediterranean University, Near East University, Cyprus International University, Girne American University, and European University of Lefke.
  • Informal education is aimed at providing education and training for those who is unable to benefit adequately from formal education.

This section also provides some information about language schools and libraries, educational institutes for students and graduates.

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