48 hours and counting: Bulgaria prepares for first school day

Written by on September 13, 2017 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on 48 hours and counting: Bulgaria prepares for first school day

In Bulgaria, all schools are set to open this Friday, September 15, with the exception of some private schools, which opened two weeks earlier. The municipalities are scrambling to get things done.

While renovations in some schools have not been completed, the capital of Sofia made sure almost 90 percent of all zebra crossings located around schools were repainted. Most zebra crossings in Bulgaria are not illuminated, meaning the main danger is coming up, during those dark winter mornings.

Sofia’s Mayor Yordanka Fandakova said she hoped everyone would remember that September 15 was a particularly risky date in terms of city traffic, “because children are still in a holiday mood and not attentive enough.”

Varna was preparing for the first school day as well. The city also had zebra crossings repainted. Some tree branches were cut in order to make traffic signs visible, which had been covered by leaves.

Some schools located at dangerous spots were identified in Varna. One of them is Dimcho Debelyanov School in the city center. Parents complained that the zebra crossings around that school were hardly visible and many drivers were ignorant. They would race along those boulevards, even while children were crossing them.

In Varna, police officers will be in and around schools on September 15, in order to make sure the children are safe. This applies to safety in traffic as well.

Meanwhile, Bulgaria’s Center for Inclusive Education released the results of a poll among children. The good news: 95 percent of all six-year-olds believe attending school is important, while some 80 percent like their teachers. Since Bulgarian kids usually become first-graders at age 7, that part of the poll might be related to preschools.

There is a more alarming part: 46 percent of all school children say they have no interest in mathematics, history, geography or English, even though those are the most important subjects taught. A majority of kids prefers physical education, drawing and music.

Around 56 percent of Bulgarian school kids are afraid of failure. The poll also shows that 18 percent have difficulties with the Bulgarian language, while 23 percent live in extreme poverty.

The educational system in Bulgaria has many issues, including extremely low salaries for teachers. In Kazanlak, the country’s Minister of Education, Krasimir Valchev, said that the salaries would be increased gradually during the next four years. He stated, for the first time in a decade teacher’s salaries were higher than the average salary in Bulgaria.

The government recently announced, it intended to double teacher’s salaries within four years. On September 1, a 15 percent increase was implemented.

More “back to school” articles:

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

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

School Kids in Sofia, Bulgaria: Good Grades Cost Good Money

Photos by Imanuel Marcus

 

 

 

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About the Author

Imanuel Marcus is Associate Editor of The Sofia Globe. He is German and lives in Sofia. Contact: imanuelmarcus (at) gmail.com