A Moscow-Sponsored School in Bulgaria is Closing its Doors

Education | July 21, 2023, Friday // 11:43|  views

"Yuri Gagarin" private school in Kamchia

The "Yuri Gagarin" private school in the Bulgarian resort Kamchia, which is part of the largest children's camp outside the Russian Federation and owned by the Moscow City Hall, is closing its doors. The labor inspectorate in Varna has already received an application for the layoff of more than 30 people - teachers and employees. The Regional Department of Education - a structure under the Ministry of Education and Science - was also notified of the situation, but without details.

The notification of the mass layoff of teachers is according to Art. 328, para. 1 of the Labor Code (termination of activity). Unofficially, it became clear from those working at the school that its funding from the Russian side was stopped already after the start of the war in Ukraine last year and the management could not cope with the maintenance.

There were indications of closing the school a year ago, after Russia started a war in Ukraine, but that didn't happen.

In addition to the planned reduction of teachers, the summer children's camps, which the Sports and Rehabilitation Complex -  "Kamchia" has been organizing for several years, have been announced by parents who registered their children for them. For 50 leva per day with transport from Varna and back and food included, children of all nationalities attended various educational classes for several years in a row at the "Raduga" children's camp in the "Kamchia" complex.

The camp and the school are part of the complex, which in 2008, under the government of prime minister Sergey Stanishev (2005-2008), Bulgaria sold to Moscow for less than 10 leva per square meter. The land is 80 decares and is located in close proximity to the mouth of the Kamchia River.

Stanka Shopova was on the board of directors of "Kamchia" complex for many years - between 2007 and 2018. Until the changes in 1989, she was a close associate of socialist leader Todor Zhivkov and chairman of the Central Committee of the DKMS - the youth communist organization.

In order to facilitate the Russian investment, the "Stanishev" cabinet also gave more than 7.5 million leva for the construction of a main water pipeline to the complex with a length of 10.5 km.

Later, hotel and school buildings, sports facilities, multipurpose halls, villas, etc. were built in "Kamchia". At the opening - at the latest on September 9, 2010, during the first government of Boyko Borissov, just a few months before he was removed on suspicion of corruption, the then Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov and Borissov himself were present.

In the years that followed, ideas were launched about transferring the ownership of the "Kamchia" complex directly to the Russian state, turning it into a cultural point for advancing Russian interests in Europe, a business incubator similar to Silicon Valley under the motto "Startup Eurasia", for which there was also active advertising. Accounts were frozen twice because of unpaid taxes and fees.

By the end of the 2022/2023 school year, about 110 children from Varna and Burgas studied at the school in "Kamchia". When it closes, they will be distributed to schools on the territory of both regions.

Tuition fees started at 8,560 leva for the preparatory group and reached 10,400 leva for students in the junior high school course. It costs 9,999 leva per year to be a high school student there.

To date, admission for the new academic year - 2023/24 has not been announced.

The last public information on the site of the complex is from February 14, 2022 - 10 days before the Russian army invaded Ukraine.

Recently, the Bulgarian MP Ivaylo Mirchev (WCC-DB) commented that Bulgaria should win back the Russian camp in "Kamchia" as the next point for breaking away from our country's dependence on Russia.


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Tags: school, Kamchia, Moscow, Russia


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