Education in Bulgaria is mainly supported
by the state, through the Ministry of
Education and Science. Most of the schools
in Bulgaria are state or municipal schools.
They are free and students don’t have to
pay any fees. There are also private schools,
which are expensive. The school year starts
on 15 September, and pupils study on a
morning and afternoon shift basis over two
a short history
The first schools in Bulgaria began opening in
the early nineteenth century first for boys and
then for girls.
In 1878 the government passed the Temporary Law on
Several universities were established in the period 1878 –
During the communist era, the Soviet Union had a great
impact on Bulgarian educational system .
After the end of the Zhivkov Era (1979), the Bulgarian
Structure of the Educational System
The system consists of four levels:
Pre-School Education, Primary Education, Basic Education, Secondary Education
Pre-school education embraces children
between 3 and 6/7 years old. The attendance
of kindergarten is optional. Most of the
kindergartens are state (95%). There are also
private ones and their number is growing.
Primary education: 1st - 4th grade
In Bulgaria students start to go to school at the age of 7.
Primary education comprises I – IV grade.
Length of program in years: 4
Age level from: 7 to: 10
Certificate/diploma awarded: Grade IV Leaving Certificate
Basic education: 5th-8th grade
Basic education comprises V – VIII grade.
Length of program in years : 4
Age level from: 10 to 14
Certificate/diploma awarded: Basic Education Completion
Secondary education: 9th-12th grade
Secondary education is four or five years long depending on the school
specialisation. Admission after 7-th or 8-th grade, Non-compulsory
General: (4 years)
Profiled: (4 or 5 years, entry exams): sports, languages, economics,
mathematics, IT, arts
Vocational : (4 or 5 19
Age level from: 14 to: years): technical or other
Certificate/diploma awarded: Diploma of Completed Secondary Education
A new operational National Programme
A new operational National Programme was
launched in 2006 for pre-school and school
This ensures completion of basic
compulsory Secondary education until
Year Ten. As part of this programme,
there is an increased number of foreign
language and computer literacy classes as
well as more vocational training from
Year Seven to 12.
The majority of school graduates
The system of
10 primary and 9 secondary
8 vocational state schools
2 private schools.
State, municipal or private schools
Pre-School Education: 3 to 6/7 years old
Primary Education: 7 to10
Basic Education: 10 to 14 ( Compulsory)
Secondary Education: 14 to 19 (Non-compulsory)
Compulsory education is undertaken up to the age of 1 4
(grade 8 ).
Foreign language classes start at primary school, a
is added in Year Ninth .
The top mark in Bulgarian schools is a six, while the
fail, is a two .
A) Bulgarian language and literature
B) Additional exam on subject from the general or
‘This project has been funded with support from the
This publication reflects the views only of the author, and
the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use
which may be made of the information contained therein.’
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