Large extended families have given way to nuclear families. Also, the increasing divorce rate has also led to an increase in single-parent households (Employment developments in childcare services for school-age children, p.3, www.eurofound.eu.int)1
All-day school: Schools in Cyprus work on half-day basis, ending at 13.00. All-day schools offer school services till late in the afternoon. All-day schools are considered an extension of childcare; since it is voluntary and caters to children aged 9 to 11, not many children attend All-Day school. Only 37% of the total child population attends All-Day school, according to the Ministry of Education and Culture. The government thus plans to bring children of all ages under this scheme.
The government plans to initiate policies to implement this scheme in Cyprus shortly. Children attending all-day schools from 07.30 till 16.00 will be provided with lunch at 13.00. After this, another teacher will supervise the children until 16.00. The all-day school remains functional in October to May. The months of June to September will be holidays. The curriculum consists of carrying out assigned homework, four teaching periods of reinforced teaching, and four teaching periods of any of the following two: English, Information Technology, Music, Physical Education, Art, Design and Technology. Additional subjects on Modern Greek and mathematics are also available. The Ministry of Education and Culture piloted the 'all-day school' concept in 1999-2000, an initiative considered successful by the Special Evaluation Committee, as it elicited positive response from parents for its enhancement of knowledge in the children. In 2003-2004, these schools increased to 110. The Ministry of Education and Culture decided to increase All-Day schools in July 2005 (Employment developments in childcare services for school-age children, p.8-9, www.eurofound.eu.int).2
The Cyprus educational system is undergoing changes. The main factors, leading to such a change are:
1. Challenges in the international arena; challenges revolving around the development of science and technology, including Information Technology and Globalization. This factor cannot be overlooked as Cyprus is increasingly reliant on its human resources for development.
2. The European dimension is another factor that required attention, as it needed to harmonize its educational system in analogy to the rest of Europe.
3. A third factor could be the social values and requirements of the people of Cyprus. Cypriots considered education as a