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Bulgarian education system

Main features The Bulgarian constitution stipulates that: 1. Everyone has the right of education. 2. School attendance up to the age of 16 is obligatory. 3. Primary and secondary education in the state and municipal schools is for free. 4. Higher education schools have their academic autonomy. The Ministry of Education and Science is the educational governing body in Bulgaria with administrative and coordinative role. The various Regional Educational Inspectorates are responsible for providing education for all children and implementing government policy.

Structure of the Educational System Education in Bulgaria is compulsory until the age of 16. The school year consists of two terms, starts on September 15th and ends in May or June. The education system consists of four levels:  Pre-primary education;  Basic education is subdivided into two sub-levels: -elementary (grades 1-4); -pre-secondary (grades 5-8).  Secondary education  Higher education

Main features Under The National Education Act in Bulgaria and according to the education level, schools are: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Primary schools – including the grades 1 to 4; Basic schools– including the grades 1 to 8; Secondary schools – including the grades 9 to 12; General-secondary schools - including the grades 1-12. Specialized high schools , Vocational schools , Profiled high schools, Arts schools and etc.

According to the way of funding, schools and kindergartens are: 6. 7. 8.

State- State schools, which are of national importance and are funded by the national budget Municipal - Municipal schools are of local importance and are funded by the municipal budget Private - Private schools are not funded by the state or municipal budget and pupils pay fees for their education.

Pre-primary education Pre-primary education embraces children between 3 and 6/7 years old. For municipal kindergartens a small monthly fee is charged. This fee is fixed by the municipality in which the kindergarten is located and is the same for everyone. All five and six-year-old children attend a compulsory a two-year pre-school program, which is aimed to prepare the children for primary school education. Pre-school education is organized in preparatory groups situated in kindergartens or in schools. Parents do not pay tuition. The kindergartens are : full-day, half-day or weekly.

Basic education Basic education (grades 1 - 8) includes: - Primary school stage (grades 1 – 4)- after grade 4 there is completion; every child obtain Certificate of Primary Education; - Pre-secondary school (grades 5 – 7/8)- Certificate of Basic Education is issued after successful completion of grade 8. It is needed for entrance in Secondary schools. Within the framework of the same educational level additional vocational qualification could be obtained by running vocational-technical programs upon completion of grades 7 or 8. Learning resources /text books/ are free and are provided by the school.

Secondary education Secondary education in Bulgaria can be divided into: - secondary general /comprehensive- 4 years training; - profile-oriented/ and vocational- 4, 5 years training. Students can enter the profile-oriented schools upon completion of grade 7 or 8 after passing entry examinations, according to the profile of the school (Bulgarian language and literature, mathematics, humanities etc.). Secondary vocational education can be attained at technical schools upon completion of grade 8 and a 4-years training, as well as upon completion of grade 7 and a 5-years training with intensive foreign language instruction. It is also provided by professional technical schools within a 3-years educational program. The Certificate of Secondary Education is issued after successful completion of grade 12( two exams: Bulgarian language and one optional subject). It is needed for entrance in University.

Special education Special education there is a network of schools – boarding schools, funded entirely by the government, for children with physical and mental disabilities. The priorities in this sphere are still to be met: adoption of legislation for providing financial support, development of alternative forms of education, establishment of a system of general schooling for admission of children from other schools and socialization of children with special needs, introduction of programs for integrated forms of education, individual instruction, etc . Children with special needs are entitled to receive education and care in mainstream kindergartens and schools.

Higher education The types of higher education institutions are: - Universities, - Colleges; - Specialized Higher Schools. Universities, as in most countries worldwide, have three stages: 1. Bachelor's degree - lasts for at least four years 2. Master's degree -lasts for one or two year after obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree; 3. Ph. D. (Doctors Degree). The pre-primary, primary and secondary teachers in Bulgaria are trained at Universities and colleges, undertaking a four� year program for undergraduates.

The curriculum The curriculum of Bulgarian Educational system is unified for all schools and focuses on eight main subjects: Bulgarian language and Literature, foreign languages, mathematics, information technologies, social sciences and civics, natural sciences and ecology, music and art, physical education and sports. When students move to the level of secondary education, their studies and their curriculum becomes more specialized and are directed towards their particular program or profile. The structure of the syllabus is based on three types of instruction: compulsory, compulsory chosen and optional. Educational systems, including Teacher Education, are centralized and the Ministry of Educ ation has responsibility for the education policy and curricula design. S tandards and curricula are developed by the faculties and scholars of th e leading Universities and colleges after the approval of the Ministry o f Education. But there are conceptual differences in curricula depends on author’s framework.

Grade System Grading Scales: 6.00Excellent - A 5.00 Very Good - B+ 4.00Good - B 3.00 Sufficient - C 2.00Poor

School year The school year starts on September 15th and ends in May for primary school children or in June – for the secondary school students. Classes carry out five days a week .The school year is divided into two terms; there is tree school vacations- Christmas, Easter and Summer.

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Bulgarian system of education