Bulgaria offers refugee pupils from Ukraine online extra lessons

Pupils from Ukraine enrolled in Bulgarian schools can now receive additional training in both Bulgarian as a foreign language and in individual subjects, the Education Ministry said on April 12.

Thus, they will be more easily and successfully included in Bulgaria’s educational system, the ministry said.

Bulgaria’s government information portal said that since Russia’s current war on Ukraine began on February 24, a total of 171 795 Ukrainians had entered the country and 79 706 remained in Bulgaria.

Twenty-five thousand are children.

The Education Ministry said that the extra lessons will be online. Pupils will be provided electronic devices on a temporary basis, it said.

For each child, a school committee decides what education is needed. If there is a teacher in the school who can teach Bulgarian as a foreign language, that teacher will lead the extra classes. If not, civil contract teachers may be hired.

The same applies if additional teachers are needed in individual subjects. They can work with children individually or with groups of up to three or up to five children. For each hour spent, 15 leva will be paid to teachers.

The Ministry of Education said that this was possible after amendments to the “Equal access to school education in crisis conditions” project, initially set up in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

The project is aimed at all students affected by online learning, including vulnerable groups. Now its scope has been expanded to include Ukrainian children admitted to Bulgarian schools, the ministry said.

The project is co-funded using EU funds.

The Education Ministry said that so far, applications had been submitted for 805 children to enter the Bulgarian education system – 237 for kindergarten and 556 for school, while 12 applications had not stated the age of the child.

The largest number of applications was in the district of Bourgas at the Black Sea coast, 320.

The ministry said that currently, 115 Ukrainian pupils are attending schools in various parts of Bulgaria and 13 are enrolled in kindergartens.

The ministry said that the main problem before admission remains the clarification of the health status of the candidates.

(Photo: Victor Semionov/flickr.com)

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