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The 'Saint Barnabas' School for the Blind
Nicosia, Cyprus
 The History of 'Saint Barnabas' School for the Blind

 Pre 1929 period

  • No provision of any kind for special education for visually impaired students
  • A small number of children with low vision probably receive education in local mainstream schools
  • 1928 A single case of a visually impaired student attending a local mainstream school
  • 1928 An appeal is made to raise funds in order to establish a home for the blind
 1929 to 1960
  • 1929 Establishment of the St. Barnabas School for the Blind within the framework of philanthropy
  • 1947 Girls are admitted for the first time at the St. Barnabas School for the Blind
  • 1955 First instance of a student of the School being integrated into a mainstream secondary school
  • 1957 The School comes under colonial administration through the introduction of the 'St Barnabas School for the Blind' Law (Cap. 168)
 The 1960 to 1986 period
  • 1960 End of British colonial rule in Cyprus. The Republic of Cyprus takes over the running of the School
  • 1960 Secondary level education for the first three years introduced
  • 1963 Inter-communal incidents. Turkish Cypriots withdraw from the School
  • 1964 Relocation of the School to new premises
  • 1964 The first student from the School enters a mainstream Lyceum
  • 1964-1986 Integration of students, with an aptitude for learning, who have completed the three-year secondary course at the School into mainstream Lyceums
  • 1972 Establishment of the Pancyprian Association for the Welfare of the Blind
  • 1979 Introduction of Law 47/1979 concerning Special Education
  • 1980 Establishment of the Pancyprian Organisation of the Blind
  • 1980 UNESCO report criticises the provisions for special education in Cyprus
  • 1982 Recognition of the three-year secondary education of the School as equivalent to other schools
 1986 to 1991
  • 1986 Following a decision by the Board of Management of the School, the gradual integration of all secondary school students into the neighbouring mainstream schools becomes official policy, thus gradually abolishing secondary education at the School
  • 1987 The first class for children with multiple disabilities and visual impairment (MDVI) established at the School
  • 1988 Establishment of the Pancyprian Association of Parents of Blind Children
  • 1990 Discontinuance of the boarding facilities at the School which had functioned since the founding of the School
 1991 to the present
  • 1991 Preparatory programme for the integration of primary school students, beginning with the 6th grade, initiated and finalized in 1992
  • 1991 Establishment of the 'Constantinides Committee' by the Council of Ministers in order to investigate the provisions for the education of children with special needs in Cyprus
  • 1992 Recommendations of the 'Constantinides Committee Report' published
  • 1995 Drafting of a Bill for special education based on the suggestions of the 'Constantinides Report', amended in 1997 and again in 1998 when it was presented to the House of Representatives
  • 1999 The 'Training and Education of Children with Special Needs' Law of 1999, which incorporates the Law of 1957 (Cap. 168), comes into effect and is amended in 2001.
  • 2001 The 'Training and Education of Children with Special Needs' Regulations introduced.


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