Bulgaria’s Education Minister: More than 11 000 under-18s have arrived from Ukraine

By the end of last week, 11 300 children and young people had arrived in Bulgaria, fleeing Russia’s war on Ukraine, according to Education Minister Nikolai Denkov.

Most had not yet decided whether to stay in Bulgaria or go on to another country, Denkov said on March 14.

He said that Bulgaria could easily include about 20 000 children and young people in its education system.

If the number was larger than that, there would have to be changes, Denkov said.

He said that the Education Ministry was planning for 100 000.

The Bulgarian state is doing everything possible to integrate refugees, he said. Currently, Sunday classes are held in Sofia and Varna to teach Bulgarian to Ukrainians.

Denkov said that different options for admitting ethnic Bulgarians from Ukraine to Bulgarian universities are being discussed.

An increase in the number is envisaged, with a proposal to increase the quota to 1000 people from Ukraine.

Denkov told reporters that there was still no decision on ending weekly testing of school pupils for Covid-19.

He said that the Ministry of Health was concerned about the influx of Ukrainian refugees and the fact that the percentage of positive tests for Covid-19 had not dropped sufficiently.

The Bulgarian government has set up a website to assist Ukrainians, and to provide information to those in Bulgaria who want to help: ukraine.gov.bg. The website has versions in Ukrainian, English, Bulgarian and Russian.

For the rest of The Sofia Globe’s continuing coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, please click here.

Please support independent journalism by clicking on the orange button below. For as little as three euro a month or the equivalent in other currencies, you can support The Sofia Globe via patreon.com:

Become a Patron!

The Sofia Globe staff

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to sofiaglobe.com's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage. https://www.patreon.com/user?u=32709292