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Bulgarian schools abroad are nearing the end of a successful academic year despite pandemic

The Bulgarian language and the advantages it brings abroad

In 13 American states proficiency in the Bulgarian language brings college credits

Photo: bgshkolo.co.uk

For some years the Association of Bulgarian Schools Abroad (ABSA) has advocated the idea of young Bulgarians abroad applying to foreign universities on the basis of their knowledge of their mother tongue. To make this dream come true, however, the Association needs the assistance of the Bulgarian institutions. The question the ABSA raises in a petition to the European Parliament is the existence and recognition of the Bulgarian language matriculation exam as a foreign language in the systems of education of the individual countries.

“This is an idea we have had for years – that the Bulgarian language be given equal status to the languages of France, Britain, Spain, Italy etc.,” says Snejina Metcheva, headmistress of the Bulgarian school in London and spokesperson for the ABSA.

Снежина Мечева

This will mean that the children who pass examinations in their mother tongue will have the same privileges when they apply to university or for a job. The petition has been approved by the European Parliament and the EU member countries were advised to consider ways to adapt their legal provisions. However, the Bulgarian language cannot be given such a legal status in every country, as the educational systems are autonomous. That is why from this point on the matter can be taken forward at a state level by way of bilateral negotiations between ministers of education.”

Unlike Europe, where the question is still pending, in 13 American states the Bulgarian language has been included in the so-called Seal of Biliteracy. This means that local universities recognize a language proficiency certificate issued by a Bulgarian institution and that it brings benefits to Bulgarians living abroad when applying to university. 

Над 11 000 деца от I до VII клас в българските неделни училища в чужбина се явиха на първия по рода си тест по български език, който се проведе онлайн.

The children from the Sunday schools abroad can certify their knowledge in the Bulgarian language by sitting for an exam at the Department for Language Teaching and International Students of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”. The document will also be taken into account when applying to universities in Bulgaria. All the more so that the ABSA launched a campaign urging young people abroad to come back to Bulgaria to finish their university education. During the two presentations with the participation of Bulgarian universities, interest was displayed by young people from Moldova, Ukraine, North Macedonia, Serbia, Greece, Cyprus, Scotland, USA, Canada and Australia.

Though faced with unforeseen difficulties due to the restrictive measures during the epidemic, Bulgarian schools abroad are nearing the end of one more successful academic year. As is the tradition, today they are marking the Day of the Slavonic Alphabet, Bulgarian Enlightenment and Culture.

“The coronavirus pandemic has meant that we are unable to go back to the halls with parents and guests for our superb concerts,” Snejina Metcheva says. “We shall have online celebrations, video films and presentations, and the Assen and Ilia Peikov Sunday school in Rome, together with the Parallel 43 cultural association, are organizing an international youth biennial “Bulgaria’s mark in the world – with paintbrush, camera and word”. The idea is for Bulgarian schools to find sites connected with Bulgaria in the countries where they live, and for the children to depict them in paintings, videos or photographs. Then these works will be included in a catalogue - of the mark Bulgaria has left in the world.”

Photos: bgshkolo.co.uk, akademika.bg, schoolbgembassy.org.uk, Facebook/ Ministry of Education

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