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THE STRUCTURE The structure of the educational system in Bulgaria comprises the following levelsPre-school School Higher education education education Basic Secondary education
According to the type of instruction and the educational level, schools are: Primary: grade 1 through grade 4; Lower secondary: grade 5 through grade 8; Basic: grade 1 through grade 8; Upper secondary schools, also called high schools: grade 9 throughgrade 12; Specialized upper secondary schools/Specialized high schools; Secondary general schools, grade 1 through grade 12; Vocational upper secondary schools - grade 8 or 9 through grade 12or grade 13; Vocational schools: from grade 7 or grade 9 with a three-yeartraining course; from grade 9 with a four-year training course; andprofessional colleges (vocational colleges) with a course of study of up totwo years; Sports schools; Arts schools; Special schools.
According to the way of funding, schools are:State- State schools, which are of nationalimportance and are funded by the national budgetMunicipal - Municipal schools are of localimportance and are funded by the municipal budgetPrivate - Private schools are not funded by thestate or municipal budget and pupils pay fees fortheir education.
PRE-SCHOOL EDUCATIONPre-primary education embraces children between 3 and 6/7 years old. Optional kindergarten education is provided for children between three and six years old. However, prior to starting school, children must attend a one-year pre-school program.
BASIC EDUCATION Basic education (1-8 grades) in Bulgaria comprises: primary school (grades 1-4) pre-secondary school (grades 5-8). Within the framework of the same educationallevel additional vocational qualification could beobtained by running vocational-technical programmesupon completion of grades 6, 7 or 8. Learning resources/text books/ are free and are provided by the school.After successful completion of grade 4, a Certificate ofPrimary Education is issued. A Certificate of BasicEducation is issued after successful completion ofgrade 8.
SECONDARY EDUCATION• Secondary education in Bulgaria can be divided into secondary general /comprehensive and profile-oriented/ and vocational. Secondary general education can be attained at secondary comprehensive schools - 4 years and profile- oriented schools-4, 5 years. Students can enter the profile-oriented schools upon completion of grade 7 or 8 after passing entry examinations, according to the profile of the school (mother tongue/literature, mathematics, humanities etc.).• Secondary vocational education can be attained at technical schools upon completion of grade 8 and a 4-years training, as well as upon completion of grade 7 and a 5-years training with intensive foreign language instruction. It is also provided by professional technical schools within a 3-years educational programme.
Secondary education (upper level) is offered by: Secondary comprehensive schools, they cover: primary school level – grades 1 through 4; junior high school – grades 5 through 8 and secondary school level – grades 9 through 11. Specialized schools with emphasis on foreign languages (language schools) – admission after grade 7 and upon entry exams. They cover grades 8 through 12/13. Specialized secondary schools – admission upon completion of grade 8 (theses are schools with emphasis either on science and/or mathematics, or on humanities, or sports, or arts etc.) They cover grades 9 through 12/13. Vocational secondary education is available at the vocational-technical and in the technical schools. The vocational-technical schools offer 4 years of training upon completion of grade 8 and 5 years of training upon completion of grade 7. Both result in specialized secondary education.
Special education Special education there is a network ofschools – boarding schools, funded entirely bythe government, for children with physical andmental disabilities. The priorities in this sphereare still to be met: adoption of legislation forproviding financial support, development ofalternative forms of education, establishmentof a system of general schooling for admissionof children from other schools and socializationof children with special needs, introduction ofprograms for integrated forms of education,individual instruction, etc.
The forms of instruction are: Daytime Evening Part-time Individual Independent Correspondence Distance
The structure of the syllabus The structure of the syllabus is based on three types ofinstruction: compulsory, compulsory chosen and optional. Compulsory (General) education in Bulgarian schoolsis provided through the teaching and training of subjectsrelated to the following fields of culture and education: Bulgarian grammar and literature Foreign languages Mathematics, Computing, Information technology Social sciences and civic education Natural sciences and ecology Arts Culture and technology Physical education and sport
SCHOOL-LEAVING EXAMINATIONS The students in the secondary comprehensive schools go in for school-leaving exams in the following subjects: Bulgarian language and Literature A general subject of their own choice (excluding Bulgarian language and Literature); the subject has to be included in the compulsory curriculum for the last schooling year.The students in the specialized/specialized secondary schoolssit for school-leaving exams in the following subjects: Bulgarian language and Literature: The main subject of the specialized school; if it is Bulgarian language and Literature, the examination is in the second important subject of the school.
GRADING SYSTEMUsual grading system in the school Full Description: 2-6; 6: otlichen (excellent); 5: mnogo dobur (very good); 4: dobur (good); 3: sreden (sufficient); 2: slab (poor). Highest on scale: 6 Pass/fail level: 3/2 Lowest on scale: 2
The Regulations on the Implementation of the PublicEducation Act and the school activities regulations:- Pupils are not allowed to be absent from school without valid reason-The absence of a pupil from classes without a valid excuse counts as an‘unexcused absence’-Provided a pupil is 15 minutes late without a valid excuse for three schoolhours, this is considered as an ‘unexcused absence’ for one school hour-A “transfer to another school till the end of the school year” penalty maybe imposed on a pupil if he/she has more than 15 ‘unexcused absences’,with the exception of pupils in their final upper secondary school grade inboth day and evening form of instruction.-If pupils fail to perform their obligations, established by the Regulations onthe Implementation of the Public Education Act and the school activitiesregulations, they are penalized by: reprimand; warning for transfer to another school; transfer to another school until the end of the school year; moving from daytime to independent form of instruction – for pupils aged16 and above.
HIGHER EDUCATION The types of higher education institutions are Universities,Colleges and Specialized Higher Schools.The university type ofhigher education is provided at the universities and thespecialized higher schools – academies, institutes. It includesthe followings stages: • First stage – a course of study of at least 4 years, leadingto a Bachelor’s degree upon graduation; •Second stage – a course of study of at least 5 years, or 1year following a Bachelor’s degree, leading a Master’s degreeupon graduation; •Third stage – a three-year course of study upon obtaininga master’s degree, leading to a Doctor’s degree.
COLLEGES Colleges are included in the system of higher education and allow the acquisition of non- university (undergraduate) education. Collegegraduates acquire the qualification and educational degree of “Specialist in .....”, which allows them to practice the profession acquired. They may continue their education at a higher institution on the basis of the qualifications acquired at secondary schools.
TYPES OF HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONSFour types of higher education institutions: Higher Education College (non-university higher education institution) University Equivalent to Universities Specialized Higher Education Institution/Technical University Academy
Certificate/diploma awardedGrade fourth Leaving CertificateBasic Education Completion CertificateDiploma of Completed Secondary EducationDiploma of Completed Secondary Education and Certificate of Professional QualificationDiploma of higher education