Indicator history

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Evidence of school segregation and/or policies of separate/distinct schooling of migrants

Key Area:
Racism, Discrimination
16/02/2012 - 21:00
Short Answer


Qualitative Info

The general policy of the Ministry of Education is declared to be countering segregation. Nevertheless, segregation does exist partly because children are obliged to attend schools in their area of residence, and therefore where there is segregation and concentration of migrant and certain ethnic groups in certain areas, children from the Roma settlements or from the migrant 'ghettoised' areas attend the school close to their homes. This is accentuated due to the fact that children of the Greek-Cypriot population often do not enrol at the schools of their area of residence if there are too many migrants enrolled there.

According to some scholars,[1] the Ministry of Education’s focus on offering Greek language classes to migrant children and its lexical choice of the term ‘other-language’ [αλλόγλωσσοι – alloglossoi], used interchangeably in official policy texts with ‘alien’ [αλλοδαποί – allodapoi], ‘foreigners’ [ξένοι – xenoi], ignoring other aspects of their identities, create and maintain particular everyday ideologies and popular conceptualisations of migrant or Romani children which enhance segregation, at least on a discursive level, on the basis of their language. The practice of placing newly-arrived migrant students in mainstream classrooms a year lower than their age level, inevitably excludes them from their peers. Similarly, the practice of removing them from the classrooms for language support lessons normalises their marginalization.[2]

One of the goals of educational reform is remove these barriers to migrant children. The school curricula, the teaching schedules and priorities were revised in the framework of the educational reform and the new programme was firstly introduced in pilot programmes in 2010-2011 and will be fully implemented during 20011-2012 and 2012-2013. No study has been carried out on the situation after the new curricula were implemented.


[1] Zembylas, M. (2010) “Critical discourse analysis of educational policy of multiculturalism and intercultural education policy in the Republic of Cyprus”, The Cyprus Review, 22(1), pp. 39-59.

[2] Gregoriou, Z. (2008). Policy Analysis Report: Cyprus (WP3) available at GeMIC: Gender - Migration - Intercultural Interaction in South-East Europe.



Groups affected/interested Migrants, Refugees, Roma & Travelers, Linguistic minorities
Type (R/D) Anti-migrant/xenophobia, Anti-roma/zinghanophobia
Key socio-economic / Institutional Areas Education
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