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The Society of Cypriot Studies and Cyprus Education: parallel lives

The Society of Cypriot Studies (SCS) is the oldest surviving Cypriot intellectual foundation. The contribution of the world of education and in particular of Secondary Education officials in the founding and functioning of the SCS, which this year celebrates its 70th birthday, was and continues to be substantial. From the founding of the Society in 1936 until the present day numerous educationalists have contributed to its work, either as simple members or as members of its Board of Management. Constantinos Spyridakis, teacher and Headmaster of the Pancyprian Gymnasium, first President of OELMEK, President of the Greek Educational Council and of the Greek Community Assembly, and Minister of Education was a founder of the Society and its president for forty years. Another important intellectual that our country had the honour of giving birth to, the painter Adamantios Diamantis, art teacher at the Pancyprian Gymnasium, was the inspiration and founder of a museum that was to house the folk culture of Cyprus: the Cyprus Folk Art Museum of the SCS, which today is the richest in museum collections of its kind in Cyprus. The SCS, through monographs, articles in the scientific newsletter of Cypriot Studies as well as through the three international Cyprological conferences it has organised so far, has highlighted Cyprus education, among other scientific domains. Works such as the Body of Educational Papers for Primary and Secondary Education, by Theodorou Papadopoulou, are a reference point for any researcher into the history of Cyprus education. Furthermore, for years now the SCS has sponsored athletics prizes for graduating students from Cyprus lyceums who have achieved excellence and distinctions. As from last year it has established the honorary prizes “Constantinos Spyridakis” and “Adiamantios Diamantis”, awarded to graduating lyceum students for achieving the highest marks in Literature subjects and distinction for their overall contribution to the visual arts activities in their school during the three years of their student life, respectively. The SCS is completing a permanent Shadow Theatre-Karaghiozis exhibition, to be accompanied by an educational programme for Primary pupils. At the same time, it is always willing to accept pupils from Primary and Secondary schools and conduct them on a guided tour of its permanent collections in the Folk Art Museum, supporting the learners with corresponding materials. The various activities of the SCS, such as lectures and periodic exhibitions, are excellent opportunities for educationalists to acquaint themselves with a variety of subjects of Cyprological interest.

On the occasion of its 70 anniversary celebrations, the Society of Cypriot Studies, in recognition of the contribution of educationalists to its multifarious intellectual activities, wishes to express its gratitude and thanks to the world of education, looking forward at the same time to a continuation of this long and fertile intellectual relationship and tradition.