2. Current cultural affairs
Last update: December, 2014
Cultural policy priorities, as derived from policy documents and budget allocation priorities during the last five years, are:
- completion of the study for the Creation of a Unified Authority for Culture and implementation of the proposed structural reforms;
- formulation of joined bi-communal programmes in the field of arts in order to promote the common and shared cultural heritage of the two Communities (Turkish and Cypriot);
- formulation of certain policy measures in order to bolster and promote cultural development;
- bolstering of cultural education; and
- promotion of Cypriot culture abroad.
Moreover during the Cyprus Presidency of the EU, an important priority area had been the promotion of cultural governance as a part of public policy in order to promote effective and evidence based cultural policy by focusing on the public value of culture and by adopting holistic approaches to cultural governance (see chapter 1.4.2).
An attempt to rationalise certain procedures in the context of long-term planning strategies instead of micro-management occurred in 2007 when the Minister at that time (Akis Kleanthous) took the initiative to formulate for the first time a Strategic Plan for Culture which aimed at encountering culture in an all-encompassing way. The main pillars of this strategic plan were as follows:
- modernisation of cultural governance;
- enhancement of cultural institutions and further development of national cultural infrastructure;
- protection and promotion of the Cypriot Culture (contemporary / traditional / cultural heritage) in everyday life;
- promoting synergies between Education and Culture;
- support and promotion of contemporary cultural creativity in Cyprus; and
- promotion and dissemination of contemporary Cypriot culture abroad.
In this context the former Minister opened up a dialogue and consultation with the civil society in order to formulate the final version of this strategic plan for the years 2008-2011. With the change of government in 2008 a new initiative was introduced which related to a proposal for the establishment of a Unified Authority for Culture in order to encounter certain limitations resulting from the fact that culture is dispersed in a number of Ministries. Nevertheless, this proposal did not proceed any further, as with the change of government in 2013 another proposal has been introduced which relates to the appointment of Secretaries for Culture for a number of policy areas and Culture is amongst one of them.
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This information will be published as soon as possible.
Last update: December, 2014
Different projects have been in operation, for example:
- The Cyprus Archaeological Digitisation Programme started in mid-October 2009 in order to manage effectively the retrieval and manipulation of information of thousands antiquities scattered all over Cyprus and thus serve both the needs of the Antiquity Department and of researchers as well as the broader public. In the context of this programme, a fully digital archive has been created, which includes antiquities in storage and also those on display.
- Digitisation projects are also pursued by the Department of Town Planning and Housing of the Ministry of the Interior.
- The Ministry of Education and Culture has seized the opportunities offered by the new digital technologies for enhancing access to and participation in culture through the European Digital Library "Europeana". This is considered an important tool in the service of education and culture by making Cypriot cultural heritage and contemporary Cypriot culture available to the broader public at European level.
- The Cultural Portal of the Ministry of Education and Culture also has archives of artists from all sectors illustrating contemporary creation. These archives are in a digitised form.
- The Press and Information Office is also taking significant actions with regards to digitisation of press releases archive, publications, photos, etc.
In addition to the above, a number of other initiatives in terms of digitisation either by private or academic institutions have been launched. The University of Cyprus carried out the project Cypriot Folk Dances, which aims at creating a publicly accessible digital archive of folk dances using 3D motion capture data (with metadata). Apart from preserving the intangible cultural heritage through this project, increased awareness is achieved among the public with respect to its dance heritage.
Last update: December, 2014
Certain initiatives have been promoted in relation to the implementation of the above objective. More specifically, bilateral cultural agreements promote the networking between artists, and public and private institutions in the fields of arts and culture. Co-operation is also promoted through European and international organisations, such as the European Union, UNESCO and the Council of Europe.
Additionally, the Ministry of Education and Culture supports art from Cyprus as well as co-productions with artists from abroad through cultural co-operation with the embassies of Cyprus abroad. Also, artists and cultural institutions such as Choirs, as well as dance groups from Cyprus are provided with financial support (travel grants) for their participation in cultural events abroad.
In addition to the above, the operation of cultural centres abroad (i.e. The House of Cyprus in Athens) aim at promoting art and culture from Cyprus while at the same time co-productions might also be supported in the context of bolstering intercultural dialogue.
The Ministry supports the operation of such institutions as the Music Information Centre of Cyprus which aims at showcasing the diverse musical achievements of contemporary scene of Cyprus and promoting networking amongst musicians living in Cyprus with musicians from abroad.
Intercultural dialogue is promoted also through a series of cultural events that are sponsored by the Ministry of Education and Culture and have already been mentioned in chapter 1.4.3. Moreover, in the context of the Funding Scheme, the Ministry of Education and Culture has sponsored dance groups and individual dancers / choreographers towards their participation in Dance Festivals abroad, as well as in international meetings and conferences organised by foreign agencies, such as Aerowaves, Bob Theater Festival (Athens), the Michalis Kakoyiannis Foundation, the Kalamata International Dance Festival and the International Choreographers Competition of Germany (Hanover).
The Cyprus Pedagogical Institute (CPI) participates in the Erasmus Programme. Mobility of trainers and trainees through Staff Mobility and Staff Training actions have contributed to transnational intercultural dialogue in the areas of comparative educational policies, social inclusion / exclusion in education and individual plurilingualism in education.
The department of Educational Documentation in the Pedagogical Institute has also published the following issue in 2010, "Intercultural Education for the smooth integration of students of immigrant background in schools and the society of Cyprus".
The issue was co-financed by the European Social Fund and the Government of the Republic of Cyprus and is part of the plans for a smooth integration of students from third countries in the European educational system.
Intercultural dialogue: actors, strategies, programmes
Intercultural dialogue is defined as the cornerstone of all policies of the Ministry of Education and Culture as this is also overtly expressed in the budget policy priorities. The Ministry of Education and Culture takes specific measures for the promotion of intercultural dialogue both in educational policy as well as in cultural policy. These measures are manifested either by initiatives which support and safeguard the cultural and ethnic identity of certain groups or by promoting certain activities which aim at bolstering intercultural dialogue. More specifically, as far as the first aspect is concerned, one of the measures is the implementation of educational measures and policies that facilitate the smooth integration of groups from different cultural identities in a creative environment as well as the introduction of innovative approaches to teaching. Moreover, during the year 2012, 332 Greek-Cypriots and 110 Maronite were living in occupied areas of Cyprus. Currently, three schools operate in the occupied areas, despite the difficulties which exist due to Turkish occupying regime's restrictions (i.e. censorship, non-acceptance of some teachers). Intercultural education was first officially introduced in the Cyprus education system in 2003 with directives to primary schools and in 2004 through the first report on the need of Educational Innovation (see Chapter 18, Educational Reform Text).
According to the Educational Legislation, all children and young people living in Cyprus regardless their language, religion, nationality etc. have the right for access to education (article 20 Cyprus Republic Constitution).
The general aim of the policy for the induction of students of migrant origin is the creation of educational environments in which all students should have equal opportunities of access and success in education. This is also emphasised in the New Curricula according to which the "democratic school" should enhance the multicultural character of the society in order to enrich knowledge, respect and enjoy life.
It is an undeniable truth that intercultural education is also connected to policies which aim at safeguarding cultural diversity (cf. chapter 2.6). In this context, school education in Cyprus aims at fostering intercultural awareness among students, teachers, and parents as well. In addition to this, special measures are implemented for enhanced access and participation of newly arrived students of migrant background. Intercultural issues are also part of in-service teacher education.
In cultural policy, Intercultural dialogue is an underlying principle which is overtly expressed in the relevant documents of the Ministry. An emphasis is given both to bi-communal (amongst the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot community) as well as intercultural dialogue which is perceived as an agent for enhancing mutual understanding and solidarity. In the context of the peace talks and the confidence building measures (CBMs) in Cyprus, a bi-communal Cultural Committee was also established in May 2015. Moreover, UNDP’s role has also been important in relation to cultural heritage conservation and protection of monuments which are considered of importance for Cyprus.
Furthermore in the funding schemes of the Ministry which operate in order to distribute the state grants to cultural operators, special emphasis is given to cultural diversity and the promotion of intercultural dialogue both amongst European partners and with third neighbouring countries. Therefore, the promotion of intercultural dialogue is implemented through funding programmes for the various art sectors (i.e. music, literature, theatre, film, etc.).
As a member of the Organisation of Francophonie, Cyprus supports different activities, aiming especially at young people.
Last update: December, 2014
According to the Educational Legislation all children and young people living in Cyprus regardless their language, religion, nationality, etc. have the right for access to education (article 20 Cyprus Republic Constitution).
Intercultural Education was officially introduced in Cyprus Education system in 2003 with directives to primary schools and in 2004 through the first report on the need of Educational Innovation.
- Subsidisation programme for the translation and publication of works by established Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot literary authors from Greek into Turkish and from Turkish into Greek.
- The Ministry of Education and Culture also facilitates the co-operation with the Turkish Cypriot community and promotes the rights of all individuals by supporting a variety of bi-communal film Festivals, with both Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot Film Directors and producers.
- Τhe Ministry also supports on an annual basis, the "Cyprus International Kids Film Festival" a festival with a bi-communal character, which includes film screenings and film workshops, open to kids for all Cypriot citizens, including Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots.
- The "Programme for Film Funding and Support to Cinematographic Works / regulation for Film Funding", as well as the application form has been translated into the Turkish language, facilitating the application process to all Turkish-Cypriot Producers, living on the Island. Through the "Programme for Film Funding and Support to Cinematographic Works", the Ministry has also supported cinematographic co-productions of feature films between Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot Film Producers. A number of documentaries with Turkish-Cypriot film Directors have been produced with the support of the Ministry.
- Further cooperation between the two communities was also enhanced with the publication of a bilingual anthology of short stories written by Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot writers in 2013 through the initiative of the Letters section of the Ministry. The anthology covered the period between 1960-2010 and included representative samples of writing from both communities.
- To further ensure political representation of the three religious minority groups and promote their strong involvement in the planning and implementation of various projects, financial assistance is provided for their educational and cultural needs (e.g. for Armenians).
In recent years a large number of migrants led to a diversification in the composition of the student population in Cyprus. Economic migrants are arriving in Cyprus in larger numbers than before. In such a context, certain measures have been developed by the Ministry of Education and Culture in order to facilitate the smooth integration of these students. Along with the intensive teaching of Greek language, a "Reception Guide" for migrant families, translated into the eight most dominant foreign languages that appear on the island has been prepared. Moreover, multiculturalism is being promoted both in the framework of the school curriculum as well as in the form of various support measures. In an attempt to integrate in an effective way foreign speaking students in our educational system, the Ministry of Education and Culture utilised resources provided by the European Integration Fund.
The general aim of the policy for the induction of students of migrant origin is the creation of educational environments in which all students should have equal opportunities of access and success in education. This is also emphasised in the New Curricula of the Educational Reform according to which "the democratic school aims at enhancing the multicultural character of the society in order to enrich knowledge avoid stigma, respect and enjoy life".
In particular the specific objectives related to:
- the development of specific and coherent measures for migrant students' educational induction;
- the creation of institutional structures that enable effective education for all;
- the development of Intercultural awareness among students, teachers and parents;
- the development of intercultural material and methods; and
- the development of special measures for newly arrived students of migrant background.
All the above are also promoted through in service teacher education on intercultural issues through different types of training (school based, conferences, intervention programmes, all-day seminars etc.).
School based seminars
In order to cover the educational needs of migrant students and children from refugee and asylum-seeker families, school based intervention programmes are organised. For example within the framework of multicultural education a school-based teacher training was applied in a public nursery school in Nicosia, Cyprus in which a large number of migrant pupils is enrolled. The main goal of these sessions was to create a basis for reflection and interaction among the teaching staff about issues related to the social and learning development of migrant pupils.
During the past few years, a growing number of pupils, coming mainly from the former Soviet Union and other foreign countries, have enrolled in Primary Schools in Cyprus. About 11.7% of the pupils attending Public Primary Schools do not speak Greek as their mother language. Bearing in mind that nowadays, the society is becoming even more multicultural, the Ministry of Education and Culture needs to approach the subject of multicultural education with great sensitivity. This means that it is of vital importance to provide an education that supports the language and distinctive cultural features of the various ethnic groups, but also to provide an education that helps bilingual pupils to learn Greek as their second language for a smoother transition to the Greek Cypriot society. The following table from the Ministry’s Annual Report (2011) shows the percentage of foreign pupils during the past four years.
Table 1: Share of foreign pupils at school, 2005-2010
|School year||Number of foreign pupils||Percentage of all pupils|
In response to these demands and the changing social environment, both national and international, the Ministry of Education and Culture is promoting the implementation of educational measures and policies, which will facilitate the smooth integration of groups from different cultural identities in a creative environment, regardless of background. The Department of Primary Education makes provisions, so that bilingual pupils are distributed evenly in the various districts, schools and even classrooms, so that teachers can support their linguistic and cultural needs more effectively. Multicultural education is currently being practiced in Cyprus in the form of various support measures. These measures can be categorised as measures for language support, which refer to the learning of Greek as a second language and measures for facilitating the smooth integration of groups with different cultural identities. The model that is currently being used is the mainstreaming programme, in which bilingual pupils participate in the classrooms along with the native Greek-speaking pupils. The Adult Education Centers offer afternoon classes for learning Greek as a second language to the children of the repatriated ethnic Greeks, but also to all those interested in the subject.
The Department of Primary Education has promoted several cultural measures to promote multicultural awareness. The Department also realises the need to provide teachers with the opportunity to further develop their learning and teaching approaches to all children. Within this context, it organises in-service training seminars and conferences to teachers who teach bilingual pupils. Developing multicultural awareness, providing information among the pupil population of the way of life, patterns of thought and attitudes of different people, attempting to understand these differences and communicating with these people, are important features of schools.
In 2008, the Council of Ministers approved the "Policy Report of the Ministry of Education for Multicultural Education". According to the relevant suggestions of the Report of the Educational Reform and within the framework of the creation of a democratic school that will incorporate and include all pupils, certain measures, that aim to the rapid and smooth induction of foreign pupils to the school system and the Cyprus society, are in the process of implementation.
Also school based seminars on preventing and facing bullying for teachers and parents, with special emphasis on ethnic diversity and gender roles are offered.
Last update: December, 2014
The first steps in broadcasting in Cyprus were taken in spring 1951, during the British rule. The first radio programmes were aired on 4 October 1953 and the first TV programmes in October 1957. Upon independence of Cyprus in 1960, the "Cyprus Broadcasting Service" became the "Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation".
Cyprus' Audiovisual Media Sector since the late 1980s, is organised in two tiers: the public radio and television broadcasting, represented by CyBC (the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation), and a number of private radio and television channels. As stipulated in national legislation, the mission of CyBC is to provide public broadcasting services within the Republic, responding directly to the democratic, social and cultural needs of Cypriot society and to the need to secure pluralism of, inter alia, cultural and linguistic diversity in mass media.
CYBC RADIO services include four channels, each with its own special identity. More specifically, the First Channel has been on the air since the early 1950s. Today, it carries news, current affairs, cultural, athletic and musical programmes, in Greek. It also carries programmes made especially for the Maronite and Latin (Catholic) religious groups. The Second Channel which broadcasts news, current affairs and entertainment in English, Turkish and Armenian. It also carries programmes for visitors in English, French and German. The Third Channel has been on the air since September 1990 and steadily tops ratings for all radio stations in Cyprus, boasting thousands of overseas Cypriots as its most loyal listeners. The Fourth Channel first aired in 2002 it transmits Greek and international music in the easy listening format.
CYBC TV services include two channels, CyBC1 and CyBC2, each with its distinct identity: CyBC1 broadcasts in Greek news and current affairs, popular series and films.
CyBC2 broadcasts children's and sports programmes in Greek, and news bulletins in Turkish and English. It also features a daily bi-communal programme called "ΒΙΖ/ΕΜΕΙΣ" (We) in Greek and Turkish, focusing on issues of interest to both Turkish and Greek Cypriots, in addition to cultural programmes and films.
Under the Radio and Television Stations Law, Law 7(I) of 1998 an independent regulatory body, the Cyprus Radio and Television Authority (CRTA), was established to handle matters regarding media pluralism and content diversity and to regulate and control radio-television matters.
According to the Radio and Television Organisations' Law, the CRTA every three years edits and publishes a report on the development of pluralism and content diversity, which is submitted to the Council of Ministers and to the House of Representatives.
According to the Radio and Television Organizations’ Law, the CRTA evaluates the ability and commitment of the applicants to provide programs with pluralism and content diversity, and the independence of journalists and other creators in the television or radio organizations.
Moreover, the Radio and Television Organizations’ Law provides that the TV or radio programs must be governed by the principles of pluralism and content diversity and the greater possible access of the public. One of the most important aspects of the Authority's wider duty is to safeguard the right to freedom of expression.
Last update: December, 2014
The official languages of the Republic of Cyprus are Greek (Greek-Cypriot community) and Turkish (Turkish-Cypriot community). Almost all official announcements and documents as well as the official website of the Republic of Cyprus, of several ministries and of the House of Representatives.are published in both languages. English is widely used.
The Cyprus Pedagogical Institute (CPI) provides an intensive training programme to secondary school teachers of the Greek language for teaching Greek as a second language to children of immigrant background. As regards diaspora communities, the CPI has been offering for over ten years a six-month teacher training course for teaching Greek as a second language for Greek origin diaspora teachers from Eastern and Central Europe countries.
Moreover, for the reception of newly arrived students and their families the following measures are being adopted (a) publication of a Cyprus Education Guide in two versions and different languages; (b) Induction Guide for new coming pupils from other countries which is translated in eight languages (English, Turkish, Russian, Georgian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Ukrainian and Arabic
During the European Year 2008 on Intercultural Dialogue, the CPI organised a conference on Intercultural Education and conducted research on teachers' attitudes on interculturalism.
As regards diaspora communities the CPI has been offering for over ten years a six-month teacher training course for teaching Greek as a second language for Greek origin diaspora teachers from Eastern and Central Europe countries.
In addition to the above, literary translations from Greek to foreign languages are subsidised as well as the translation and publication from Greek into Turkish and from Turkish into Greek.
As explained above ( chapter 2.5.3), the CyBC (Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation) broadcasts in different languages. This includes Turkish TV programmes of 2.5 hours a week, with subtitles in Turkish for some local productions. In the occupied area there are no media for the Greek minority; it is only possible to pick up Greek radio stations from the south, such as CBC channels 1, 2 and 3. Foreign films / series are normally dubbed in Turkish, and private TV stations broadcast entirely in Turkish.
Cyprus is a member of the Organisation of Francophonie. In that context, the country actively participates to all relevant projects and activities. The Cypriot Ministry of Education and the French Institute organise an annual competition in French language for public high school students. The main theme of the competition changes every year but is always related to the topic of Francophonie throughout the world.
Last update: December, 2014
Equal treatment and any form of gender discrimination in the Republic of Cyprus is safeguarded by virtue of Article 28 of the Constitution. In addition, Cyprus has ratified all international and regional (European) human rights treaties that address gender equality.
Specific institutions have been established which promote policies and research in the field of gender equality. For example, the main goal of the National Machinery for Women's Rights (NMWR), which functions in the structures of the Ministry of Justice and Public Order, is the promotion of gender equality in Cyprus. It consists of representatives of the major women's organisations, trade unions and government departments. Furthermore, the Cyprus Research Centre (EKIF) was officially registered in 2006 as a non‐profit NGO dedicated to the promotion of gender equality in all spheres of life and the elimination of discrimination against women; it is a partner of the UNESCO CHAIR in Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment established at the University of Cyprus in 2009. A Cyprus Gender Equality Observatory was set up in 2003 and plays an active role both with respect to women's rights as well as with respect to providing support to all vulnerable groups, while the Gender Equality Committee in Employment and Vocational Training, which functions in the structures of the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance, has as its main role to monitor the application of Law (Equal Treatment of Women and Men in Employment and Vocational Training Law (Law 205(I)/2002). Also, the Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies (MIGS) is a non-profit organisation which promotes and contributes to projects of social, political, and economic themes relating to gender with an emphasis on the Mediterranean region.
This information will be published as soon as possible.
Last update: December, 2014
All persons residing in the Republic of Cyprus have all rights ensured (of expression, of conviction, of religion, of movement, of privacy, of access to information, to education, etc.). The Constitution makes no reference to "minorities" or "national minorities" but to "Communities" (Greek and Turkish) and to "religious groups" (Armenians, Maronites and Latins). By virtue of Art.2, all citizens must choose adherence to either the Greek or the Turkish Community. The Latins are normally Greek-speaking Roman Catholics of (mainly) European descent; together with Armenians and Maronites, they have chosen to belong to the Greek Community.
As stated earlier, the religious groups in Cyprus receive support by the Ministry of Education and Culture for their cultural activities.
In an attempt to promote cultural diversity, since 2004 a more rational approach to funding has been developed with the formulation of certain funding programmes by defining eligibility criteria and clearer objectives including cultural diversity amongst these objectives. Moreover, particular emphasis was placed on cultural diversity and on strengthening intercultural dialogue by laying special emphasis on the promotion of bi-communal co-operation. Especially, after Cyprus Accession to the EU in 2004, mobility of artists and other cultural professionals was fostered with all resulting influences on cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue.
In particular, through funding programmes for the various art sectors (i.e. music, literature, theatre, etc.) cultural diversity and inclusion policies are further promoted. These programmes refer to activities that take place in Cyprus as well as to activities that take place abroad. In the framework of the existing funding programmes, cultural co-operation amongst Cypriot artists to respective cultural operators and artists from abroad is promoted. In this framework, certain events are supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture such as the Ethnic Music Festival, "Cyprus in Action - Youth Music Encounters", which is a youth music camp that unites young people from Europe and the Mediterranean. Furthermore, in the field of cinema a number of festivals that are organised under the auspices of the Ministry of Education and Culture aim to showcase to Cyprus audience, a diverse mix of productions from various different countries (i.e. International Cyprus Film Days, Cyprus International Short Film Festival, etc.). The International Cyprus Film Days aims to contribute to: (1) the development, promotion and mobility of the art of film making in Cyprus and the wider area; (2) screen the work of film makers from across the world and to introduce their work to the Cyprus public; (3) serve as a hub for films from the three neighbouring continents of Cyprus. The Cyprus International Short Film Festival aims to accentuate the independence of short films as an art form and to create a special environment and audience for them. By presenting an interesting variety of international short film productions, it offers its visitors a diverse forum and serves as a popular meeting point for film makers and audiences from both Cyprus and abroad.
In addition to the above, literary translations from Greek to foreign languages are subsidised as well as the translation and the publication from Greek into Turkish and from Turkish into Greek. Moreover, the Ministry published an anthology of short stories by Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot authors, with the objective to foster, through literature, communication and solidarity amongst the two communities. Additionally, travel grants are provided to artists so as to facilitate access and participation to cultural events abroad. The Ministry of Education and Culture through such events as is the Biennial of Young artists of Europe and the Mediterranean, Venice Biennale, MIDEM International Music Fair, promotes creativity and intercultural dialogue while at the same time aims at showcasing the rich and dynamic contemporary cultural creation of Cyprus to a broad audience.
Moreover, innovative modes of cultural expression (vanguard and experimental ways of expression) and related events have been supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture. In addition to the above, through the funding programmes, artists' mobility is fostered either in the form of travel grants or in the form of promoting co-productions and cultural co-operation.
Furthermore, through co-operation with leading international museums and institutions for the presentation of individual and group art exhibitions abroad, mobility of artworks is also supported and promoted.
Apart from the above, the Ministry of Education and Culture, through institutional and financial support to certain initiatives, aims to strengthen the cohesion-related activities of the third sector and to reinforce cultural interventions in society by private not for profit organisations (cf. chapter 2.7).
Through the funding programme of the Ministry of Education and Culture, support is provided to Armenians. More specifically, the Armenian Cultural and Educational Society of Cyprus "Hamazkayin" receives annual support for various initiatives such as the SIPAN Armenian Folk Dance group. Maronites also receive support from the Ministry of Education and Culture both for their cultural as well as for their educational activities. In the context of the newly established Maronite cultural centre at the village of Kormakitis in the Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus, support is going to be provided for the operation of a folkloric museum which is going to display a collection of items representing the local culture and the daily life of the residents of the village in the past century. Kormakitis village is one of the traditionally Maronite villages in Cyprus.
Another form of promotion of the culture of minority religion groups is achieved through the distribution and screening of documentaries produced with the financial support of the Ministry of Education and Culture.
In the arts sector, the government of the Republic of Cyprus has also subsidised the creation of a monument in Larnaca commemorating the arrival in Cyprus of the Armenian refugees fleeing the 1915 genocide in Turkey.
In the context of education, the training of all teachers on the application of New Curricula focuses on the promotion of a democratic school that respects and enhances diversity and gives all students opportunities for success. In this context the Cyprus Pedagogical Institute has been offering a series of teacher training activities which aim at empowering teachers to combat discrimination and some of them can be regarded as examples of good practice (i.e. seminars on democratic citizenship, on gender equality, etc.).
Last update: December, 2014
In relation to inclusion policies and in order to revive and regenerate urban spaces and provide the civil society, disadvantaged people, marginalised groups of society, including elderly people, young people, migrants, with better access to arts and culture, support is provided through cultural infrastructure projects as well as through a funding scheme for regional authorities.
The important contribution of culture to processes of social cohesion, including the integration of disadvantaged groups (i.e. economic migrants, people with special needs, minority groups, marginalised people, etc.), is a fundamental principle in all relevant policy documents of the Ministry, as well as in the funding schemes for providing state-aid to cultural operators. Therefore, social cohesion is an established goal in all educational and cultural activities. More specifically, several initiatives, involving local government and third sector actors, including NGOs and individual volunteers, some in the context of EU funded programmes, focus on encouraging social inclusion of immigrants, fighting against human trafficking, and other relevant issues.
Furthermore, the Cultural Services collaborate with the Department of Social Welfare in organising workshops of visual-audio expressions and games for children in Children's Shelters (Nicosia Youth Hostel and Limassol Shelter) giving them the opportunity to express themselves creatively. The workshops that take place within this framework also offer the chance for personal growth and development as well as an amelioration of self-esteem and foster creativity through participation in communal and team-work activities.
The Cultural Services provide the following initiatives for the ageing citizens:
- grants for cultural institutions and individuals;
- free admission for the aged to cultural activities of the Cultural Services;
- reduced rates at events (Cyprus International Film Festival, Festival of Ancient Greek Drama, Concerts, Cyprus Symphony Orchestra);
- a monthly allowance to honorary cultural creators over 63 who have financial needs; and
- free admission to museums managed by the Cultural Services (State Gallery / National Struggle Museum).
Certain initiatives also aim at bolstering social inclusion such as the support provided to economic migrants through the Induction Guide for new coming pupils from other countries which is translated in eight languages (English, Turkish, Russian, Georgian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Ukrainian and Arabic). In addition to the above, certain measures facilitate the integration of students at risk to the school system. A specific programme has been formulated against early school leaving, school failure and deficiency in ZEP (Zones of Educational Priority).
Apart from the above, the Ministry of Education and Culture through institutional and financial support to certain initiatives aims to strengthen the third sector and reinforce cultural interventions in society by private not for profit organisations. In this context support is provided to the Foundation of Cyprus Symphony Orchestra or to the newly established Foundation for Children and Young People which amongst others promotes music performances for migrant children and young people. Furthermore, school based intervention programmes are to cover the educational needs of migrant students and children from refugee and asylum-seeker families (cf. chapter 2.5.2).
This information will be published as soon as possible.
Information is currently not available.