EC: Nearly 50% of Bulgarian Students Are IlliterateBulgaria in EU | February 2, 2011, Wednesday // 12:04| views
According to the EC, data from Bulgarian college and university entrance exams shows about 50% of Bulgarian high-school graduates have issues with grammar and punctuation. File photo
Almost every other Bulgarian student experiences problems with reading and reading comprehension of text in their native language.
According to the European Commission, 41% of Bulgarian students are illiterate to a certain extend.
The EC has done the research over its plan to combat and eliminate illiteracy by 2020.
Romania is right behind Bulgaria with 40.4%; Austria is third with 28%, according to a publication in the Bulgarian daily "Sega" (Now).
The study shows nearly half of Bulgarian students are able to only execute simple tasks such as determining the main topic in a text or finding specific information.
On the 1 to 5 scale of the Organization for Economic Partnership and Development, Bulgarian students rank at level 2.
The country further has a serious issue with school drop-outs – 38% of Bulgarians do not graduate – most of them leave as early as elementary school leading to increased unemployment and poverty risk.
Every year 6 million people in the EU become school drop-outs. In Spain, Malta and Portugal these are one third of all students with two thirds of them leaving because they need to find a job to help their family. In Bulgaria, 73% of the drop-outs never appear on the labor market. There are other EU countries with similar statistics – Slovakia (80%) and Hungary (71%).
On the other end of the spectrum is Western Europe where 90% of all students graduate.
The EC announce they are undertaking measures to reduce the number of high-school drop-outs to 10% (from the current 14.4%) in the next ten years.
One of the ideas is to not force underperforming students to repeat a certain grade level because they can become demotivated, but rather offer additional education after regular school hours and evening classes for those who have already dropped from school.
20% of all students in grade 9 in the EU have difficulties reading and writing. Nearly 80 million adult Europeans and one third of those in employment age have low level skills and qualifications.
Data from Bulgarian college and university entrance exams shows about 50% of Bulgarian high-school graduates have issues with grammar and punctuation.
Recently, a local research revealed another paradox – Bulgarian high-school students master English spelling better than Bulgarian.