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12° Nicosia,
23 July, 2024
 
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Cabinet approves free preschool for 4-year-olds

Education Minister Athina Michaelidou details the new initiative under the Recovery and Resilience plan

Newsroom

The Council of Ministers today greenlit the expansion of free pre-primary education for 4-year-olds, announced Education Minister Athina Michaelidou following the conclusion of the Cabinet meeting.

This initiative, part of the broader Recovery and Resilience Plan, holds significant pedagogical value, according to Michaelidou. Emphasizing that every child is entitled to two years of free preschool education, she underscored the social benefits, asserting that it enables parents to join the labor market. The proposal specifically addresses free attendance at public and community kindergartens, spanning 8 years, effective from the upcoming school year.

Detailing the implementation, the Minister explained, "Starting from the coming school year, we are lowering the entry age by two months, making it compulsory and free. Instead of admitting children at 4 years and 8 months, we will now accept them at 4 years and 6 months, gradually reducing to 4 years." She also mentioned plans to request Parliament to enact the necessary legislative amendments.

Furthermore, Michaelidou shared that the subsidy for children opting for private schools will persist from 2025. She asserted, "This ensures equal opportunities for all, addressing concerns raised in previous years. With this proposal, we are tackling the pressing issues as the Recovery and Resilience Plan remains valid until 2026, successfully utilizing allocated funds for kindergarten expansions and improvements."

Addressing queries about a potential reshuffle, Michaelidou deferred to the President of the Republic, emphasizing that any decisions on the matter will be communicated in due course. She expressed a focus on upcoming crucial tasks, stating, "I am not personally concerned with this issue. We have serious work ahead, and discussions of this nature should not divert our attention."

[Information sourced from KYPE]

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