Ivan Stoyanov: Each school has the potential to become favorite place for its students

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The school year in Bulgaria ended several days ago, but the topic about the level and the problems of the Bulgarian school education continues to excite many people. Some of them are parents whose children are to hear the school bell for the first time in September this year. They want to see their children crossing the threshold of elite schools. However, some ordinary Bulgarian schools also have the potential to become outstanding temples of knowledge and top the Best Schools ranking. The pupils studying in these schools enter willingly into the classrooms and do not leave until they finish their tasks. They often take the results home, because most classrooms are equipped with 3D printers which allows the children to touch the results of their efforts. Perhaps you already think that you are reading a utopian story about how schools will look like in 50 or 100 years. No, such school already exists in Bulgaria and nearly 800 Bulgarian pupils study in this school from preparatory to 12th grade. Each classroom is equipped with printers and computers. The principal of Hristo Botev high school Ivan Stoyanov told Radio Bulgaria details:

The first changes in this school were made back in 2006. In the beginning we made efforts to change the physical environment, because the temperatures in the classrooms in the winter months did not exceed 13 degrees Celsius. Meanwhile, we bought new equipment for the classrooms and the cabinets. Our strategic priority in the past five years was to establish a modern and technological environment, because the students want to use the new technologies. The teachers also want to work with the up-to-date technologies in their practice. We bought our first interactive board ten years ago.  The lessons became very entertaining and useful thanks to this technological marvel. Initially, only the English language teachers used the interactive boards, because the software was not translated into Bulgarian. Later, we bought interactive boards for our history, geography and literature rooms.

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How about your child starts programming while still in the fourth grade? Today, our children learn the new technologies in a matter of few seconds only, regardless of whether they touch a computer, a smartphone or a tablet. They act by intuition and discover many new functions in these devices we don’t even know of. A former graduate of Hristo Botev School, who studies computer science in Manchester, invented a method based on intuition to acquaint the pupils with the infinite opportunities of the digital world. Having said all this you may think that truancies and absences no longer exist at Hristo Botev high school.  Unfortunately, there are still such, but according to the school principal their number went down significantly and the pupils’ marks in mathematics and Bulgarian increased with one point, data of the external assessment after the seventh grade show. The graduates of Hristo Botev high school also received high marks at their matriculations. This is due to the huge efforts and endeavor of their teachers who act friendly with their alumni. In return, the pupils feel their teachers’ goodwill and respond appropriately. The Hristo Botev “school of future” was established in the town of Karnobat in 1926. The old school building was renovated due to funds allotted under various EU operational programmes.

English version: Kostadin Atanasov

Photos: private library
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