site.btaAll-Bulgarian Lessons Class Opens at Hristo Botev Primary School in Tsaribrod
A class in which all subjects will be taught in Bulgarian opened Monday at the Hristo Botev Primary School in the Serbian city of Tsaribrod (Serbian Dimitrovgrad) inhabited mainly by ethnic Bulgarians.
Five fifth-graders will study chemistry, physics, maths and all others subjects in Bulgarian.
The newly opened class was realized with the support of the Ministries of Education of Bulgaria and Serbia, the Bulgarian Embassy and Consulate, as well as with the help of the National Council of the Bulgarian National Minority, Milena Stavrov, the current director of the school, said.
Bulgarian Ambassador to Serbia Petko Doykov congratulated the children for their choice, as well as all the first-formers in the school, wishing them a successful year of study. "You should know you are making history," Doykov assured the five children. The school year in Serbia starts on September 1.
The Chairman of the National Council of the Bulgarian National Minority Stefan Stoykov and Mayor of Caribrod Vladica Dimitrov also congratulated the children on the beginning of the new school year.
The children received backpacks and supplies as a gift from the National Council, and the fifth graders from the Bulgarian class received free textbooks translated into Bulgarian.
Doykov and Stoykov distributed today free textbooks in Bulgarian language to the 12 ninth graders who chose to study in Bulgarian at the Sts Cyril and Methodius High School in Tsaribrod.
The former headmistress of the school, Katerina Simeonov, who is now an assistant school psychologist, told BTA that there has not been a class taught entirely in Bulgarian in this school for about 40 years. They are not worried about the teaching, for the staff is qualified and certified, as attested by Veliko Tarnovo University.
The children have no worries either, for they have been having bilingual classes since the 1st grade.
Simeonov explained that the parents of children from the national minority in Serbia have the right in principle to choose in the first grade whether the children should be taught entirely in Serbian and then be provided with an optional subject "study of mother tongue" with elements of national culture or to be taught entirely in Bulgarian. When taught in Bulgarian, Serbian is also a compulsory subject. A third option is bilingual education - all subjects are taught in Serbian, and the classes in Bulgarian are gradually increased from two in primary school to four in grades five and six, with key concepts taught in both Bulgarian and Serbian.