Public Preschool Education Becomes Mandatory in Bulgaria

Education | July 22, 2010, Thursday // 10:55|  views

Bulgarian MPs passed the proposal of the Education Ministry to make public preschool education in Bulgaria mandatory as a way to reduce school drop outs in upper grades. File photo

Nearly half of all children in Bulgaria do not speak Bulgarian as a native language, the Member of the Parliament from the ruling GERB party, Irena Sokolova, says.

Sokolova reported the information during the parliamentary debate dedicated to the proposal to make preschool education in Bulgaria mandatory as a way to reduce school drop outs in upper grades.

The proposal was passed by the MPs. The majority from the Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party, along with Education Minister, Sergey Ignatov, are planning to have special sections in each school for the youngest students with play, rest and feeding areas, without access to classrooms for older children.

The municipalities will have 2 years to make arrangements, instead of the previously planned 12 months. The allowance per child will be increased from BNG 1 400 to BGN 1 626 per year and parents will be asked to only pay up to BGN 1.50 per day for lunch, Ignatov says.

The opposition protested against the steep fines of BGN 200 to BGN 2 500 the Education Ministry wants to impose on parents who refuse to send their children to public preschool classes. Ignatov further proposes that the above said parents are mandated to do community service hours instead of paying fines

Aliosman Imamov, from the opposition ethnic Turkish party Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) pointed out data from the National Statistic Institute shows that 26% of Bulgarian children do not attend kindergarten not because parents do not want them to, but over shortage of such facilities.


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Tags: Sergey Ignatov, preschool education, school drop out


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