site.btaUPDATED Education Minister Penov on School Curricula, Upcoming Changes
The results of the curricula analysis are to be made public and the draft amendments to the curricula are to be promulgated for public discussion said Minister of Education and Science Sasho Penov Tuesday during the opening of the roundtable "Education - the key to historical memory, patriotism and enlightened society". The event was attended by President Rumen Radev, Vice President Iliana Iotova, university professors, teachers, representatives of trade unions and employers' organizations.
Minister Penov reported that there were no serious objections to the curricula. No changes were proposed in a number of subjects, even including history and civilizations, Penov said. The most frequent requests in all subjects are for an increase in the number of hours and/or criticism of why everything is not taught or not taught in detail, without taking into account that an increase in hours in one subject means a decrease in another and that secondary school is not intended to present all knowledge as in a university, but only to teach young people to be first and foremost proud Bulgarians, thinking, functionally literate and competitive individuals, the Minister said.
Research shows that the proportion of hours spent studying the mother tongue, literature and social sciences is higher than in other EU countries. Minister Penov expressed concern about the fact that with the spread of artificial intelligence, a balance will be sought between the information provided by different platforms and the textbooks content. He stressed that this topic is already being discussed in various discussion forums.
"Personally, I made an attempt to ask questions in the AI chatbot Chat GPT, related to the Bulgarian history and works by Bulgarian authors, and this can be done by any student who handles the Internet," said Penov. He stressed that the big question is whether the source of knowledge is this or the textbook.
He added that the Education Ministry uses other mechanisms to achieve the main goals of pre-school and school education. He said that this year the proposal of new national programmes aimed at "preserving and strengthening the Bulgarian national identity and Bulgarian national consciousness" is being discussed. Several national programmes are in this framework – "The Untold Stories of the Bulgarians", "Bulgarian Educational Routes", during which pupils will visit museums, exhibitions, galleries, "Mother Tongue and Culture Abroad" as well as the programme to study and preserve the traditions and stories of the Bulgarian army, which is a joint one between the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Defence.
Education should be raised to the level of strategic priority and leading national goal on which the development of all other targets depends, Radev said, addressing the forum. The head of State highlighted the huge role of education not only for the acquisition of sustainable knowledge and skills, but also for the spiritual development of young people. "Before they can be good engineers, IT specialists, doctors, researchers, before they can be successful citizens of the world, our young people must first and foremost be worthy and full citizens of Bulgaria," the President said and stressed that for Bulgaria’s development as a country it is extremely important to pass on historical memory, values and spirituality to the future generations.