Bulgarian schools open for 2020/21 year amid Covid-19 crisis

Schools in Bulgaria opened for the 2020/21 school year on September 15, the country’s traditional date, but with this year different because of the Covid-19 crisis.

About 59 000 children began first grade, with a total of 708 258 pupils in the country and 67 640 teachers, according to Bulgaria’s National Statistical Institute.

In a message on September 15, Bulgaria’s Education Minister Krassimir Vulchev said: “Over the past year, the system has tackled the challenges facing the pandemic and proved that e-learning cannot replace live communication with teachers in the classroom.

“The school educates and is the place where students learn the first rules of life,” he said.

Addressing teachers, he said: “Your profession requires creativity and support. Society expects you to motivate, inspire and educate. Your work is difficult, but the future spiritual, social and economic prosperity of the country depends on you”.

To parents, Vulchev said: “I believe that your attitude to education determines the success of children. Be active partners in learning, because no education system can develop without your support, commitment and understanding”.

He said that all 2400 schools in Bulgaria were ready for the start of the school year.

As part of anti-coronavirus measures, there will be inaugural celebrations in larger schools only for first, fifth and eighth grade pupils, and the rest will be welcomed in the classrooms.

About 300 pupils will start the new school year from home, through e-learning, because of concerns about their health.

For a full list of the key measures in Bulgarian schools against the spread of new coronavirus, please click here.

According to Bulgarian National Radio, on the eve of the new school year, pupils were divided on the measures against Covid-19 in schools, and particularly about the wearing of masks.

BNR quoted one as saying “masks only suffocate us” while another said “iIt’s not very pleasant, but it’s also necessary to be able to deal with this coronavirus as quickly as possible, to follow the measures, and that’s not such a problem.”

(Illustration: National Statistical Institute)

For the rest of The Sofia Globe’s continuing coverage of the Covid-19 situation in Bulgaria, please click here.

The Sofia Globe’s coverage of the Covid-19 situation in Bulgaria is supported by the Embassy of Switzerland.

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