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Reform Support

Supporting reforms to improve the quality of education and training systems and ensure equal access to it

Funding Programme
Technical Support Instrument (TSI)

An Operational Framework for All-Day Lower Secondary Schools in Cyprus

The Commission will support the development an operational framework for the institutionalisation of all-day schooling at the lower secondary education level, with a focus on curriculum enrichment and personalised guidance to students most in needs. In particular, it will 1) provide the analytical ground to assess the feasibility of the reform; 2) develop a concrete policy planning proposal; and 3) test the deployment of the reform via targeted actions in selected schools. The direct beneficiary of this project is the Ministry of Education, Sport and Youth, in particular the Directorate of Secondary General Education, although students, parents, teacher, guidance counsellors and school leaders will benefit indirectly.


Cyprus faces persistent systemic challenges including low level of student achievement in PISA learning assessment, increased share of early school leavers, high unemployment rate among young people and challenges with the efficiency and effectiveness of education spending. In response, the Ministry of Education, Sport and Youth has implemented all-day schooling in pre-primary and primary schools on a voluntary basis and a reform was announced in 2022 to gradually extend all-day schooling in secondary education. 
The project falls within the European Year of Skills, and  is aligned with the European Union’s priority to ensure quality and inclusive education for all, in particular, its renewed vision for the European Education Area and beyond (2021 – 2030) and the Council of the EU’s Recommendation on ‘Pathways to School Success', both of which aiming to improve educational outcomes and reduce early school leaving. 

Support to be delivered

The interventions are clustered around 3 main areas of focus: (1) Evidence generation through a mapping of the current state of play of lower secondary education in Cyprus and an analysis of good practices; (2) Development of full-day lower secondary schooling plan with different scenarios for deployment and their respective costing; and (3) Project communication, monitoring and learning. This project is implemented by UNESCO, in cooperation with the European Commission.

Expected results

The implementation of the project contributes to the ongoing reform of all-day schooling in secondary education in Cyprus. In the longer-term, the expected impact of the project is: (i) the improved student learning experience and outcomes notably through enhanced language competences and socio-emotional life skills, (ii) the reduced early school leaving and better inclusion particularly among students with migrant and refugee backgrounds, (iii) the improved student wellbeing through support for mental health and mitigating anti-social behaviour, and (iv) enhanced academic performance. 
The project is also expected to lead to social and economic impact in terms of reduced expenditure on social welfare programmes, increased student employability prospects, reduced parental responsibility of after-school care, and greater labour market participation (particularly for mothers).