As we look at the education this island has to offer the next generation, most of us with children and grandchildren are well aware of the great demands placed upon school pupils than ever before, from relentless assessments to excessive homework.
In progressive education models, these pressures are generally thought to be suppressing the joy of childhood and placing too much responsibility on children, from a young age.
The shift in education is led largely by Norway, who has chosen to remodel its education system, banish homework and educate children holistically. Here in North Cyprus, we still have some way to go!
What is Holistic Education?
‘Holistic education is based on the premise that each person finds identity, meaning, and purpose in life through connections to the community, to the natural world, and to spiritual values such as compassion and peace. Holistic education aims to call forth from people an intrinsic reverence for life and a passionate love of learning. This is done, not through an academic “curriculum” that condenses the world into instructional packages, but through direct engagement with the environment. Holistic education nurtures a sense of wonder.’
Here in North Cyprus, we have local schools who offer a sound Turkish education, (although largely taught in large class sizes) to some independent alternatives that may offer either a constant turn around in staff, inconsistency or little knowledge of how to work with teenagers.
Holistic education is definitely under-represented here.
One particular independent school seems to be moving in the right direction, combining and attracting both native born, well educated, native staff that remain in posts for years, with a British education which is recognised worldwide. The continuity the staff provides, in turn creates a happy, nurturing atmosphere for all ages. This medium sized school is taking strides towards excellence as it remains successful due to its small class sizes, in which a day to day working knowledge of each child’s ability can take place. Whether this changes over time, remains to be seen.
There are also specialist schools on the island, which provide additional one to one tuition for children who require a more tailor-made approach. Those individuals who need to be challenged and are constrained by the pace that their classroom has set, or indeed those who need time to fully engage in an academic concept and absorb it fully before moving on.
Holistic education nurtures these individuals. It celebrates the individuality of a child and engages them fully. Holistic education teaches them to love learning and see it as a fun and life-long endeavour. It isn’t simply represented by a certificate, but something tangible, useable and maintainable.
Kyrenia Academy in Bellapais is the only actively holistic centre for such learning, in North Cyprus. It was established to nurture all children, without defining or restricting them or the way they learn.
The Academy offers a rich variety of differentiated activities for learning and believes in creating a more hands on and tailor-made approach to learning. It actively supports children with a wide variety of learning needs. The Academy offers a wide variety of Academic, Music, Theatre, Sewing, Art and Dance classes, which take place each week. Call 0533 888 3605 for further information about holistic learning and how it may help your child.