“For some politicians, it is convenient for the Bulgarian people to be uneducated and ignorant. So they can buy their votes!” This was stated during a debate on the Bulgarian school by Lidiya Prokopova – a historian with over 30 years of experience as a teacher and a candidate for national representative on the list of “BSP for Bulgaria”.
“Happy first day of school to our children! To be curious and searching! Congratulations to the first-timers, today they are starting the most important path in their lives, which will make them real people and Bulgarians! Courage and patience to the parents too – without our care, the seeds of knowledge will not germinate! Salute to our teachers – in their hands is the future of our country!” With these words, Yavor Bozhankov began the second of the series of debates that “BSP for Bulgaria” organized with the participation of young people from the entire region and the candidates for people’s representatives. The topic that generated many questions and discussions was education.
“The transition in our country started with changing the textbooks. And, in order not to be ideologically embellished, they no longer spoke of patriotism. There was no mention of education.” This is how Lidiya Prokopova outlined the initial problem in the Bulgarian school. According to her, until education enters as a cause, as a development strategy in the state’s policy, Bulgaria will not prosper. Because only through education and upbringing will a civil society be built, which will be capable, wise and knowledgeable enough to choose the most worthy to rule us.
Among the measures that Lidiya Prokopova (with preference 108 in the list) proposed are the introduction of a mechanism for responsible parenting and tying the success of students to a behavior assessment.
Her claim that mobile devices should be banned in class sparked controversy. “A child’s attention can be engaged for no more than 5 minutes. If it is constantly on the Internet, this cannot be done”, she reasoned.
“We live in the 21st century, the world is changing and we must change with it, because otherwise our education will be left behind, said the 16th in the list Krasin Karakotsev. For me, a good teacher is one who can incorporate the technical achievements of the 21st century into the learning process. When I have taught, I have always successfully used students’ mobile devices in class. When this becomes skillful and interesting for children, it can only improve the educational process. Therefore, we should not be afraid of the new. That is why it is joyful that there are more and more young teachers in the Bulgarian school”, he concluded.
“We, in Bulgarian education, unfortunately, are not attractive to children, because we are not adequate to our times”, was the thesis of Desislava Simeonova. She is 28 years old – a teacher, co-author of a geography textbook, doctoral student and part-time lecturer in the Department of Geography at Veliko Tarnovo University. And it is with preference 114 in the list of “BSP for Bulgaria”. Her reasons for this conclusion are the eternal “piecemeal” changes that have been taking place in Bulgarian education for 30 years: “There is no overall vision of how in every single class there should be connectivity between individual subjects. Therefore, most of the children do not understand what they are learning, they lose interest”.
Devolved budgets that follow the student rather than quality education, kill anti-discipline measures and prevent true inclusive education for children with special educational needs were also a topic of discussion.
Upbringing and education go hand in hand. The participants in the discussion united around this conclusion and recalled how important it is for young families that kindergartens, at the suggestion of “BSP for Bulgaria”, are now free throughout the country, because preschool is the basis for all education thereafter. They insist that textbooks up to the 12th grade become free, and that their content educate real Bulgarians and personalities.
The discussion ended with the words of Krasin Karakotsev:
“A teacher is not just a profession! This is something much bigger!”