The transfer of the position from retired principals to acting principals until a competition caused tension in the guild of school principals in the Plovdiv region.
This situation, on the eve of the new school year, is reached after notices for the retirement of incumbents, many of them long-time principals of elite educational institutions, were handed out en masse in the summer. However, the planned contests to determine their successors fell through after the SAC declared illegal the ordinance under which they were to be held.
In the current situation, the old managers are leaving without clear criteria on how to determine the temporary ones in their place. The Acting Minister of Education, Prof. Dr. Sasho Penov, has given powers to the heads of the Regional Departments of Education to decide who will be acting acting in place of the retired school heads.
In Plovdiv, a week ago, the head of the Regional Department of Education, Antoineta Pakova, gathered the retiring principals, after which she met separately with each of the candidates admitted to the competition for their places, to hear their intentions for managing the respective school. The approach is that where there are candidates, the incumbent becomes one of them, and where there are none, the current director remains.
Retired directors consider that it was proper to remain in office until a competition is held or their place should be taken by acting deputy directors with administrative experience. According to them, it is wrong to give power to candidates who intended to contest but did not win.
The usual practice in the system until now was to get the opinion of the incumbent as to whom he would recommend as a successor. Retired directors claim this has not been done. It is also not clear what criteria are used to select which of the candidates for the competition will occupy the position, which, according to them, is a prerequisite for subjectivism. In addition, they suspect that the situation with the vacuum in the regulatory framework can be used to arrange “convenient” school heads or to allow political appointments, even though the Ministry of Education and Culture is appealing to clean education from politics.
The principal of “Knyaz Alexander I” Elementary School, Aneta Valeva, during the traditional carol ritual at the school
There are also curious cases – in “Knyaz Alexander I” Primary School, for example, the notice period of the principal Aneta Valeva expired on Thursday without a successor being presented. In order not to leave the school on autopilot and to hand over the documentation, she also went to the school yesterday. However, it was only at the end of the day that she was informed who would be the acting director. According to unofficial information, the chosen one is not among those who applied for the competition and is an outsider to the school. The handover has not yet taken place and in practice the school is without a director.
The long-time director of “Aleko Konstantinov” Elementary School Krasimir Angelov at the celebration of the end of the last school year
At “Aleko Konstantinov” Primary School, the long-time head Krasimir Angelov was at work for the last time on Monday. Yesterday, however, his receptionist was presented there – primary teacher Mariyana Naydenova, who is among the three candidates for the post, none of whom has been in a management position until now. She applied to 2 more schools herself.
Primary teacher Mariyana Naydenova sent her fourth graders and instead of first graders, she takes over as acting director of “Aleko Konstantinov” Elementary School
Elite educational institutions are being decapitated and new appointments are being quietly made, say retired principals who are bitter not about their resignations, but about the way this is done and the successors are chosen. That’s why some of them did not go to the meeting in RUO.
The long-time director of the Plovdiv NU “Hristo Botev” Ivan Penev during the examination of the teachers with antigen tests for covid
Elsewhere, however, the casting took place without problems. At Hristo Botev National University, the retirement notice of another iconic director – Ivan Penev, expired at the end of August. Since August 31, Milen Staykov has been on the post – one of the deputy directors, who was also among the 8 candidates to take over the management of the school.
Some of the directors resigned with satisfaction from what was done and with joy, comments the municipal chairman of the Union of Employers in the Public Education System in Bulgaria – Dr. Katerina Vasileva.
The long-time director of PGSAG “Arch. Kamen Petkov” Mariana Spasova on her last working day yesterday
This was the case with Mariana Spasova, long-time director of PGSAG “Arch. Kamen Petkov”, the head of “Vasil Petleshkov” Primary School Siika Zrancheva, Velichka Chuchurlieva from the school in the village of Iskra. “I am surprised by the reaction of some of the directors. Some of them have been in the system for more than 20-30 years, and probably their professional and personal paths have merged, that’s why they find it difficult to accept the change,” she admitted. And he did not comment on the hints of a possible subjective or political choice in the determination of the temporary executors.
However, Dr. Vasileva said that it was precisely in order to make the criteria clear that the branch organization of directors approached the Acting Minister of Education Prof. Dr. Sasho Penov with a question about how to proceed with a retired director when the competition was not held for a new one, and how the acting position will be determined. However, he used the legal opportunity to circumvent this issue, delegating the rights and responsibilities to resolve it to the heads of regional administrations.
The concerns in the system are that this temporary election will not be for a short time – the regulation on competitions is still to be repaired, and it is not known at all whether there will be a regular cabinet soon. The forecasts are that the temporary ones will remain at the head of the educational institutions for at least a year.
In PGSAG “Arch. Kamen Petkov” the post is taken by a colleague from the school, in “Nikola Vaptsarov” Secondary School and “Vasil Petleshkov” Primary School – deputy director, in the May Day village of Iskra – a teacher recommended by the retired headmistress.
As “Maritsa” wrote, contests were announced for a total of 38 schools in the Plovdiv region – with directors who are retiring and those who are currently acting temporarily.
The questions of the media to the RUO-Plovdiv regarding the castings were redirected to the Ministry of Education and Culture. Responses will be published when both institutions provide them.
Battle with the electronic platform on the weekend as well
The big question now is to what extent those appointed to lead until the competition will cope with the challenges before the start of the school year, says Dr. Katerina Vasileva.
Dr. Katerina Vasileva, Municipal Chairperson for Plovdiv of the Union of Employers in the Public Education System in Bulgaria
After the confusion with the horary for some subjects in the junior high school due to errors in the amendments to the curriculum regulation and a subsequent reference letter, the principals are currently facing another serious problem – the National Unified Information System of Preschool and School Education (NEISPUO). All data is entered in it and the deadline expires on September 5, but the electronic platform works hard and with many problems – it constantly crashes and gives errors.
It took a school team at a primary school all day to bring in 90 children, and there are hundreds more. In a profiled high school, it took 4 hours to enter the data for only one class.
The system does not number the students, does dubbing, does not correctly calculate the standard for teaching work, directors describe. It includes the 2020 curriculum, missing the subject “Homeland Studies”, which replaces “Environmental World” for second-graders.
“The platform does NOT work, constantly gives errors. Everything is done so clumsily, saving a child or staff details, clicking, clicking, going from menu to menu is such a pain. It must have been difficult for them to put the filling in of one person’s information in one place. And they probably imagine we have a whole team to introduce. No, folks, we don’t have!”, directors summarize. And they add: “A “wonderful” Saturday and Sunday are ahead…”.