Beginning of new school year in Bulgaria: Issues with admission of first-graders

Written by on September 8, 2017 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on Beginning of new school year in Bulgaria: Issues with admission of first-graders

This coming Friday, September 15 of 2017, well over 12,000 first-graders will visit the schools in the Bulgarian capital Sofia, for the first time. The number might sound high, but it is actually low, compared to last year. And it is only preliminary, since thousands of first-formers are not “covered by our education system”, Bulgarian National Television (BNT) reports.

A new admission system, which may not have been thought through well enough, has caused worries and anger among parents in Sofia. The primary school kids are admitted to now depends on the area they live in. But the borders of those areas run right through residential blocks. New neighbourhoods in the capital are not even included.

The authorities in charge say that only at the end of September, two weeks into the school year, it will become clear how many first-graders will actually be admitted to Sofia’s schools.

All in all, some 11,000 school children are not attending any schools. Some 950 of them are dropouts, according to BNT. Out of the many kids who are unaccounted for in the school system, many may have moved abroad with their families, others might live elsewhere in Bulgaria. The authorities simply do not know.

A representative of the Regional Advisory Council in Sofia told BNT that Municipal Council might make changes to the procedures during this school year. But first, the city wants to wait and see what will go wrong. It will probably be a lot.

There are more issues. One of them is a lack of teachers in several areas of studies, including English, mathematics and Bulgarian, which are considered the most important ones. Also, renovations in many school buildings will not have been completed by September 15. The authorities say the ongoing construction projects will not affect the learning process. This is surprising, because most school buildings in Sofia are being used in two shifts. It is hard to imagine how the noise and the dust will not affect anyone.

Related article: Construction sites and low salaries: It’s back to school in Bulgaria

 

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About the Author

Imanuel Marcus, the founder of foreignersandfriends.com, is Associate Editor of The Sofia Globe.