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BethanyWright

July30,2015
GCU114
BulgariasStatusofEducation
ThetoppriorityoftheUNGlobalEducationInitiativeistoputeverychildin
school.Unfortunately,Bulgariaisstrugglingtomakeeducationaccessibletoall
minorities.Alargereasonforthatisthepovertylevelinsomeareasofthecountry.
NearlyonemillionRomapeopleliveinBulgaria.Thechildrenofthisminoritygroupdo
nothavetheprivilegeofattendingschoolandthussufferfromilliteracyandexpectant
unemploymentinthefuture.Tomakethispointclear,only47%ofthesekidsenrollin
primaryschool,andlessthanthattofinishit.Only12%of1619yearoldRomastudents
gotosecondaryschool.Tomakemattersworse,theschoolstheseRomastudentsare
attendingaretypicallyinpoorerpartsoftownwithlowqualityeducationthanthatof
otherBulgarianschools.Thus,thesestudentsareneveronthesameacademiclevelas
theyshouldbecomparedtotherestofBulgariaandtheworld.
TheeducationsysteminBulgariaisdividedmuchlikethatintheUnitedStates
withaslightlydifferentgradingsystem.Childrenfromages36/7attend
Preschool/Kindergarten.TheythenmoveontoPrimarySchool,whichisdividedintotwo
stages:elementaryandpregymnasiumschool.Theystayinelementaryfor4yearsand
thenafter4thgrade,theystartpregymnasiumfor34years.Thestudentsthenmoveonto
SecondarySchool,whichtheywillattendfor4years.Therearetwotypesofsecondary
schoolsstudentscanchoosetoattend,generalandprofessional.Generalsecondary
schoolsoffergeneraleducationclasseswhereasprofessionalschoolsfocusonstudies
aroundaparticularprofession.Forexample,amusicschoolwouldclassifyasa

professionalschool.Lastly,thereisHigherEducation,whichconstitutesattendinga
universityorcollege.LiketheU.S.,thisisoptionalandtuitionfeesarehigh.Inorderto
trackstudentsprogress,BulgariausesthetypicalgradingsystemofEurope.Itsgrading
systemismarkedwithnumbersratherthanletters.Forexample,thehighestgradea
studentcanreceiveisa6.ThisisequivalenttoanA.Thelowestgradeastudentcan
receiveisa2,equivalenttoanF.
Inordertoachievethegoaloffosteringglobalcitizenship,thethirdpriorityofthe
UNGlobalEducationInitiative,Bulgariaofferslanguageschools.Whenstudentsenter
secondaryschool,theycanchoosetoattendaprofessionallanguageschool.Bulgaria
offerslanguageschoolsinEnglish,German,French,Russian,Italian,Spanishandof
courseBulgarian.Withspecialopportunitieslikethis,studentshavetheopportunityto
learnanewlanguageandcultureofadifferentcountryduringtheirsecondaryeducation
years,auniqueopportunitythatwillhelpthemintheirfutureastheymeetnewpeople.
Notonlythis,butstudentsarerequiredtolearnanotherlanguageaswell.Manystudents
studyRussian,becausethelanguageissoclosetoBulgarian.Thisalsoallowsthemto
connectwiththeoldergenerationswhooncestudiedRussianaswell,asitwasmandatory
intheirday.
Bulgariasstatusofeducationdoesindeedhaveroomforimprovement.Referring
tothesecondpriorityoftheUNGlobalEducationInitiative,Bulgariaisworkingon
improvingthequalityoflearningbyprovidingstandardizedtesting.TheEuropeanUnion
hasbenchmarksfortheschoolstoholdtheteachersandstudentsaccountableforwhatis
beingtaughtandlearnedineachsubject.Unfortunately,Bulgariahasnotbeenhitting

thosemarks,andmanystudentsareunderperforming.Inordertoimprovethe
educationinBulgaria,thegovernmenthassteppedinandstartedtoreformafewaspects
oftheschoolingsystem.Forexample,teacherssalarieshavegoneupby22.5%,
attractingmorequalifiedteachers.Asystemofdelegatedbudgetshasbeenestablished,
whereschoolsaregivenmoneybasedonthenumberofstudentsattending.The
governmentisalsonowprovidingtransportation,freemeals,andeasieraccessto
textbooksandeducationingeneral.Withthesesimpleyetimportantchanges,theissues
oflackofqualifiedteachers,learningmaterials,andpoornutritionarebeingalleviated.
Althoughthereisalongwaysahead,Bulgariaisimprovingitseducationalstatusand
aimingtofulfillalltheprioritiesoftheUNGlobalEducationInitiative.

WorksCited
(n.d.)EducationalSystemofBulgaria.AmericaforBulgariaFoundation.Retrievedby
July30,2015fromhttp://www.fulbright.bg/en/peducationalsystemofbulgaria18/
(n.d)EducationinBulgaria.Unicef.RetrievedbyJuly30,2015from
http://www.unicef.org/ceecis/Bulgaria.pdf
2000.SchoolingandEducation.Angloinfo.RetrievedbyJuly30,2015from
http://bulgaria.angloinfo.com/family/schoolingeducation/internationalschools/