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Bulgaria:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

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Overview Bulgaria

Contents

Bulgaria:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Bulgaria:Historical Development

Bulgaria:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Bulgaria:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Bulgaria:Political and Economic Situation

Bulgaria:Organisation and Governance

Bulgaria:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Bulgaria:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Bulgaria:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Bulgaria:Organisation of Private Education

Bulgaria:National Qualifications Framework

Bulgaria:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Bulgaria:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Bulgaria:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Bulgaria:Funding in Education

Bulgaria:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Bulgaria:Higher Education Funding

Bulgaria:Adult Education and Training Funding

Bulgaria:Early Childhood Education and Care

Bulgaria:Organisation of Early Childhood Education and Care

Bulgaria:Teaching and Learning in Early Childhood Education and Care

Bulgaria:Assessment in Early Childhood Education and Care

Bulgaria:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Bulgaria:Single Structure Education (Integrated Primary and Lower Secondary Education)

Bulgaria:Organisation of Single Structure Education

Bulgaria:Teaching and Learning in Single Structure Education

Bulgaria:Assessment in Single Structure Education

Bulgaria:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Single Structure Education

Bulgaria:Upper Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Bulgaria:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Bulgaria:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Bulgaria:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Bulgaria:Organisation of Vocational Lower Secondary Education

Bulgaria:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Lower Secondary Education

Bulgaria:Assessment in Vocational Lower Secondary Education

Bulgaria:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Bulgaria:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Bulgaria:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Bulgaria:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Bulgaria:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Bulgaria:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Bulgaria:Higher Education

Bulgaria:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Bulgaria:First Cycle Programmes

Bulgaria:Bachelor

Bulgaria:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Bulgaria:Second Cycle Programmes

Bulgaria:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Bulgaria:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Bulgaria:Adult Education and Training

Bulgaria:Institutions Providing Adult Education and Training

Bulgaria:Main Programmes and Provision in Adult Education and Training

Bulgaria:Teachers and Education Staff

Bulgaria:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Bulgaria:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Bulgaria:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Bulgaria:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Bulgaria:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Bulgaria:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Bulgaria:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Bulgaria:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Bulgaria:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Bulgaria:Management and Other Education Staff

Bulgaria:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Bulgaria:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Bulgaria:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Bulgaria:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Bulgaria:Management Staff for Higher Education

Bulgaria:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Bulgaria:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Bulgaria:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Bulgaria:Quality Assurance

Bulgaria:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Bulgaria:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Bulgaria:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Bulgaria:Educational Support and Guidance

Bulgaria:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Bulgaria:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Bulgaria:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Bulgaria:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Bulgaria:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Bulgaria:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Bulgaria:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Bulgaria:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Bulgaria:Mobility and Internationalisation

Bulgaria:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Bulgaria:Mobility in Higher Education

Bulgaria:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Bulgaria:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Bulgaria:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Bulgaria:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Bulgaria:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Bulgaria:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Bulgaria:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Bulgaria:National Reforms in School Education

Bulgaria:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Bulgaria:National Reforms in Higher Education

Bulgaria:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Bulgaria:European Perspective

Bulgaria:Legislation

Bulgaria:Institutions

Bulgaria:Bibliography

Bulgaria:Glossary

Types of Institutions

Upper secondary education is provided by:

  • general secondary schools (1st to 12th grade);
  • specialized schools with intensive studies in foreign languages (language schools), mathematics, humanities etc.;
  • vocational schools – admission after 7th grade on the basis of competitive exam scores.

Geographical Accessibility

The characteristics of school distribution at the level of upper secondary education are generally the same as those for basic schools.
Upper secondary schools are distributed mainly in the cities, where the number of students is greater. Students living in villages where there is no school offering secondary education, travel to an appropriate school outside the village. Students get discounts on travelling costs for railway and city transport.

The rationalisation of the school network with regard to education institutions granting general and vocational secondary education has some specific dimensions. It is executed in accordance with the development of the different regions of the country, their social and economic status and the general status of the labour market. There is a constant effort of bringing professions that are taught at the school and majors as close as possible to the specific features of the region, its industrial development and the need for certain specialists for different branches.

Admission Requirements and Choice of School

The conditions and procedures concerning enrolment at secondary schools are as follows:

  • 8th grade – in specialized study courses upper secondary schools, in specialized classes with intensive foreign language instruction at general secondary schools, vocational upper secondary schools and classes leading to the acquisition of professional qualification at general secondary schools and specialized upper secondary schools;
  • 9th grade – in specialized upper secondary schools, in specialized classes at general secondary schools, in high schools, in vocational high schools, in non-specialized classes at general secondary schools and in classes leading to the acquisition of professional qualification within general secondary schools, in vocational upper secondary schools and other upper secondary schools;
  • 7th or 8th grade for the acquisition of professional qualification and basic education – in vocational schools and vocational classes within basic, general lower secondary and upper secondary schools.

Students can apply to an unlimited number of schools.  Up to 5 places in a class can be reserved for students suffering from chronic diseases, physical and sensor disabilities. In vocational schools and vocational upper secondary schools these could also be students from the institutions for raising and educating children deprived of parental care. The head of the Regional Inspectorate of Education approves the state enrollment and the enrollment in non-specialized classes at every school not later than September 5th. Students are enrolled after an examination of their abilities and/or their documents. Examining their abilities can be done through three types of exams: on a school subject, a test and examination of abilities.

Entrance exams for 8th and 9th grades should be taken on the territory of the region where the students have completed their 7th grade or basic education. When a certain exam is planned to be carried out in a particular region only, students can sit for this exam on the territory of another region. As of 2010 all 7th graders sit for an external assessment in all major subjects they have studied. Those who want to study in one of the more selective schools should also take a second module in Bulgarian Language and Literature and Mathematics. When the results are announced students can make their choice of schools to apply to. Together with the application form they also submit their original certificate for having completed 7th grade or corresponding basic education certificate. For some schools and study courses students should also submit a medical certificate issued by their GP.

Students can enroll in grade 8th at:

  • specialized upper secondary schools and class sections with intensive foreign language instruction at secondary general schools;
  • at vocational upper secondary schools and class sections leading to the acquisition of professional qualification at secondary general schools;
  • specialized upper secondary schools.

Only students who have completed 7th grade in the year of application can be enrolled. The requirements for being enrolled are a grade of at least Fair (3) on the entrance exams. The exams are as follows:

  • for Humanities, Natural Sciences, Foreign languages and Technology profile schools and class sections, as well profession  specialities – in Bulgarian Language and Literature and in Mathematics;
  • for specialized study courses in Art and certain vocational classes requiring abilities in the sphere of fine arts, music or choreography – a test and an examination in the respective subject;
  • for specialized study courses in Sports – a test and an examination in sports.

Students can enroll in grade 9th at:

  • specialized study course upper secondary schools, secondary general schools and in other upper secondary schools;
  • vocational upper secondary schools and vocational schools;
  • non-specialized schools and class sections leading to acquisition of professional qualification at secondary general schools, specialized upper secondary schools and other upper secondary schools.

Students are accepted after submission of the required documents or after taking an entrance exam in a subject or after examination of their abilities. Students are accepted in non-specialized classes after submission of the required documents. Upon applying students are required to:

  • have finished basic education;
  • be not older than 17 (for full-time education only);
  • show that instruction in Arts, Sports or particular fields within professions will not affect unfavourably their health;
  • have received at least Fair (3,00) at the entrance exam(s) in the case of such.

To be enrolled students should submit the following documents at the corresponding school:

  • application form;
  • certificate for completing basic education;
  • certificate proving the grade from the entrance exam in the case of such;
  • medical certificate issued by the student’s GP.

Students rank the schools and majors according to their own wish in the application form.

Age Levels and Grouping of Students

Students within one and the same age form the grades and classes at the upper secondary level, which lead to completion of secondary education in the daily form of schooling.

Division into classes and groups for different academic subjects and the formation of groups from different classes is done within one and the same grade. In evening form of schooling and in adult education forms, which acquire secondary education, classes and groups are formed by students of different age groups. For secondary general schools (both specialized and non-specialized study courses) at upper secondary level (9th to 12th grades), the number of students in a class varies between 18 and 26. Classes in the last grade of high school can be of at least 13 students.

At the upper secondary level of education classes can be divided into groups in the following cases:

  • in classes where students study different foreign languages a group is formed with at least 10 students, if this language is not studied in other classes of the same grade.
  • for laboratory classes in Chemistry and Environment protection, Physics and astronomy, Biology and health education whenever the class is more than 25 students;
  • in computer science and information technology the minimum number of students in a group is 8.

Organisation of the School Year

School time is organized in school years and school weeks in two terms.

For students in grades 9th, 10th and 11th it begins on 15th September and finishes on 30th June. It ends in May depending on when the 31st week ends for grade 12th. For administrative services, schools are open throughout the calendar year. During the school year, students take a Christmas, interterm, spring or Easter and summer breaks. The duration of breaks (summer break excluded) and other non-attendance days is specified by an order of the Minister of Education, Youth and Science.

The school year at the extracurricular teaching establishments begins on 1st October and finishes on 31st August. Activities for children are organized during the summer vacation as well.

Organisation of the school day and week

The number of compulsory hours per week is 32 for grades 9th to 12th. Weekly schedules are not determined on a national level. Each school can make its own schedule The relation between compulsory and core curriculum optional hours is 45% to 80% compulsory education hours. The duration of a school week is five school days.

The organization of a school day is half-day and whole-day and includes from 4 to 7 compulsory teaching hours. Half-day organization may be carried out in two shifts – morning and afternoon.

The weekly schedule of school instruction takes into consideration the psychophysical features and capabilities of students. It is in accordance with the requirements stipulated by an ordinance of the Minister of Health. The duration of a teaching hour is 45 minutes for grades 8th to 12th. Breaks between teaching hours (lessons) may not be shorter than 10 minutes and not longer than 30 minutes. When lessons are organized in two shifts, the school-hour duration may be 40 minutes with permission by the head of the Regional Inspectorate of Education.