Education Trade Union Analyses System in Wake of New School Law

Education Trade Union Analyses System in Wake of New School Law

Sofia, August 17 (BTA) - The Education branch of the Confederation of Labour Podkrepa has made an analysis of the educational system after the new Pre-school and School Education Act became effective, the trade union said.

The first conclusion of the analysis is that Bulgarian education is underfinanced with 3.18 per cent of Bulgaria's low GDP. At least 500 million leva more have to be set aside in the new budget for education in 2017, and at least as much more in 2018.

The centralized enrolment in first grade would help the system a lot if the Ministry of Education and Science takes this responsibility. However, such a bold decision would require the support of the entire Bulgarian public, the analysis says. A transition to single-shift organization would require the support of the government and the Ministry of Finance, because classrooms have to be found for the students studying at 560 schools in order to stop the outdated two-shift practice. This is a bold reform, one that is related to the construction of hundreds of new school buildings.

The results of secondary education translate into functional, not actual, illiteracy among school and university students. Bulgarian students find it difficult to associate what they have learnt with objective reality because of the continuing outdated orientation of secondary education towards the class-lesson system.

The problems are much more grievous in higher education, which is why thousands of young people choose to continue their higher education abroad.

The success of Roma students is becoming an increasingly determining factor at end results and educational criteria are aligned with them. This erroneous trend leads to 'simplification' of school education at the application of the new law, for example with the mandatory passage from first to fourth grade, the trade union says.

The catastrophe in spelling and the extremely scarce means of expression of the students result not from deficits in the educational system, but from the lack of a connection in contemporary Bulgarian society with what is presented in schools and university.

The analysis also finds that kindergartens are insufficient.

To the 'joy' of those wanting higher education, over 70,000 places are offered at universities, a two-fold figure above the number of possible students.

The funding of education in Bulgaria is like building a house without foundations, the analysis says. The philosophy of the outdated delegated budget in secondary and vocational education results in an extreme shortage of funds which go with the students. Funds should also go with teachers, headmasters, the specific features of particular schools and the peculiarities of geographical location. For example, vocational training requires an unequivocal and immediate reform. This does not mean closing schools, but a close connection between the vocations and the labour market.

Source: Sofia