The new school year began in Bulgaria on September 16, with more than 700 000 pupils at their desks, including close to 60 000 first-graders.
At about 2400 schools, renovations have been completed, but at more than 50 schools, the learning process is beginning with repairs unfinished, Bulgarian National Television reported.
Eight schools are using other buildings pending the completion of repairs to their own, the report said.
Bulgaria’s Ministry of Education said that all free textbooks for pupils in grades one to seven have been delivered.
The school year is beginning with a shortage of teachers.
Out of a total of 90 000 teachers in Bulgaria, more than 4000 are reaching retirement age.
The most numerous vacancies are for teachers of mathematics, physics, chemistry, information technology and English. The largest numbers of vacancies are at primary schools.
“This is a day where together with joy and hope we celebrate knowledge – the most important investment in a nation’s future,” Education Minister Krassimir Velchev said in a message marking the beginning of the 2019/20 school year.