New school year begins in Bulgaria with a call for vaccination against Covid-19

The school year 2021/22 in Bulgaria traditionally began on 15-19.

According to a statement by the Ministry of Education, a total of 706,857 students attended classes in 2,357 schools across Bulgaria. These include 58 593 first graders.

Seven of the 28 Bulgarian districts have full faculty: Gabrovo, Lovech, Sliven, Stara Zagora, Turgovishte, Haskovo and Yambol, according to the ministry.

There are 436 teacher vacancies in Bulgaria. Most of the vacancies are in the city of Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna and in the Sofia district. Most in demand are kindergarten teachers, professors, full-time teachers, math, English and elementary school teachers.

The Ministry of Education said there are 1,039 psychologists and 793 speech therapists employed in kindergartens and schools.

The ministry said that by the start of the new school year, the last 40,000 electronic devices would be made available for online learning. A total of 15,500 laptops and tablets have already been ordered under existing contracts and will be delivered by the end of September, the ministry said.

In addition, a public tender has been announced for 24,500 tablets, which are expected to arrive in schools in October 2021, it said.

When making the move to online learning, all students and teachers have home access to the Internet. Schools will pay for children from socially disadvantaged families, said the Ministry of Education.

“This will ensure massive participation in distance learning if this is necessary due to the worsening epidemic situation,” the statement said.

If they have to teach online, teachers receive an additional levy of 30 leva to cover costs such as internet connections.

“Observe the measures, get vaccinated when advised, in order to protect yourself and the people around you,” said the caretaker Education Minister Nikolai Denkov in a statement.

Health Minister Stoicho Katsarov said that unlike last year, personal education for children is a priority of the current government.

“Schools and universities will not be closed unless the country reaches the worst stage of the epidemic, as described in the National SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic Plan,” said Katsarov.

“Refusing to vaccinate many people and systematically violating anti-epidemic measures are the greatest threats to school closings. Let’s not do this to them. If our own health is not a sufficient motive to follow the measures and get vaccinated, then we think of the children – our nation’s greatest asset, ”he said.

The day before it became known that only 30 percent of teachers and two percent of students in Bulgaria had been vaccinated against Covid-19.

(Photo: Ministry of Education)

For the rest of The Sofia Globe’s ongoing coverage of the Covid-19 situation in Bulgaria, please click here.

The Sofia Globe’s reporting on the Covid-19 situation in Bulgaria is supported by the embassies of Switzerland and Finland.

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