The European Commission on Monday launched a technical support project aimed at facilitating all-day schooling in Cyprus’ lower secondary education.

“The benefits of such reform for pupils, parents and teachers are many. All-day schooling keeps children safe, having a positive impact on their wellbeing and better preparing them for lifelong learning. It also can reduce early school leaving and improve academic performance, including students with migrant and refugee backgrounds,” the commission said.

It comes as a report reveals Cyprus’ public education system has a low level of student achievement/performance. On average, one in 10 pupils leaves school early in Cyprus, while the share among foreign-born youth rises to three in 10.

Youth unemployment rate is high at 16.6 per cent, according to the report of the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) published in October 2020.

The decision was announced during an event with Unesco and education ministry, where the latter requested the commission’s support to implement a reform that will pave the way to all-day schooling in lower secondary education across the island.

“All-day schooling also fosters women’s access to the labour market by reducing parental responsibility of after-school care,” the commission added.

The project is aligned with the European Union’s priority to ensure quality and inclusive education for all as well as with the Council of the European Union’s Recommendation on Pathways to School Success.