Sixty thousand Bulgarian children began first grade on September 17, about 3000 fewer than in the 2017/18 school year, a result of the country’s demographic crisis.
The figures were announced by Bulgaria’s Education Minister Krassimir Vulchev, as a total of about 680 000 pupils began the 2018/19 school year.
Vulchev said that of the country’s 2367 schools, close to 60 per cent had undergone renovations.
In some cases, renovations were still going on at schools, and where this was happening, pupils were being temporarily re-assigned to other schools.
“I do not know whether in recent decades there was a year with so many renovations,” Vulchev said.
About 1100 schools were being repaired and renovated, some this year and more the next.
More than 500 educational institutions would be completely upgraded, mainly through European Union funding through the Regions for Growth operational programme, he said.