The bells rang on September 16 2013 to mark the start of the new school year for Bulgaria’s about 755 000 pupils, of whom 63 596 are first-graders.
In turn, of these first-graders, about 11 800 were sitting down at desks in the capital city Sofia, which at the start of the 2013/14 school year is seeing about 700 more first-graders than a year earlier.
Overall, however, the number of first-graders in Bulgaria is about 2000 less than in September 2012.
The country currently has 127 125 teachers, according to the Science and Education Ministry.
Addressing a serious problem that caused disruptions in the previous school year, police were scheduled to brief pupils about how easy it is to catch those who make bomb hoax phone calls.
In 2012, there were 68 bomb hoax phone calls, 45 at schools, which led to temporary closures as bomb squads checked the premises. The Interior Ministry reported a high proportion of detections of those behind the calls.
Separately, the Food Safety Agency said that it would be carrying out inspections at kindergarten and school canteens.
The Education Ministry announced the dates of school holidays in the forthcoming year.
Enlighteners’ Day on November 1 means a long weekend at the start of that month.
Over the Festive Season, there will be a school holiday from December 24 to January 5, with pupils expected back at their desks on January 6.
There will be a short winter holiday from February 1 to 4. For pupils from grades one to 11, there will be a spring holiday from March 29 to April 6, and for pupils in grade 12, from March 29 to April 1. This school holiday comes a few days before the general public holiday in Bulgaria for Easter, which in 2014 is on the same dates for both Western Christian and Eastern Orthodox Christian traditions – from Friday April 18 to Monday April 21.
Bulgaria’s 2013/14 school ends for first-graders on May 22, for those from grades two to four on May 30, for grades five to eight on June 13, for grades nine to 11 on June 30, and for grade 12 on May 15.