The education system consists of 12 grades, organized into two major levels: basic and secondary educations. Students are usually between the ages of 5 to 18 during their mandatory schooling years. It is the parents' legal responsibility to make sure the children attend school.
Basic education is split into two levels; elementary for grades one through four and presecondary which are grades five through eight.
Secondary schools are either high school or vocational school for grades nine through twelve. School is operated five days a week from mid-September to the end of May. Students get several breaks throughout the school year during public holidays, winter and spring break, and summer vacation.
There are three components to the curriculum structure which includes compulsory, elective, and option subjects. The major areas of concentration are in Bulgarian language and literature, mathematics, foreign languages, information technologies, social sciences, natural sciences, culture, and sports.
The grading system is based on a numerical scale from 6 being excellent and 1 being very poor. This grading scale is used within all grades and levels of schooling. Grading is based on written and oral exams, homework, and participation.
Bulgarian schools are well equipped with teach materials and technologies and the teachers are generally open for new curriculum and teaching techniques and methods. One of the major education goals for Bulgaria is to bring the standards of education in line with the European context and harmonize with Western European teaching standards.
Special schools are available for students with impaired health or learning disabilities. There are a wide variety of special schools catering to students who are chronically ill, mentally retarded, blind or visually impaired, hearing and speech impaired, and behavior issues.
Private schools in Bulgaria are a new element in the education system. There are far less private schools than public schools in Bulgaria and only a small percentage of students attend them. Private schools have had a bad reputation is Bulgaria due to the widespread concern that it undermines the nation's democratic educational traditions. Private schools often focus on religious-based curriculum.
The fees depend on the school and the age. Tuition can range from 1,500 to 5,000 Euro on the low end and can cost as much as 5,000 to 21,500 Euro per year. Preschools and elementary schools tend to be on the low end and high schools cost more.
Many of the universities have programs taught in English, French, or German. There are a total of 51 universities in Bulgaria and many are well-respected internationally. Three of Bulgaria's universities are ranked in the top 200 universities in Europe and Central Asia.
The higher education offered through Bulgarian universities follows the standard stages of bachelor's, master's, and doctorate. Undergraduate typically takes four years to complete, master programs take two years, and doctorate usually take three years.
Top Universities in Bulgaria:
The biggest and oldest library in Bulgaria is the St. St. Cyril and Methodius National Library. The National Library consists of preserved printed material as well as a wealth of other publications.
To become a member of the library, all readers must have a reading card which can be a yearly, monthly, or daily card. To receive this card you must present an ID and pay the appropriate costs.