Pre-primary education in Bulgaria includes nurseries (‘detska yasla’ – for children from 10 months to 3 years old) and kindergartens (‘detska gradina’- for children aged 3 to enter the first grade - 6/7 years old). The nurseries and kindergartens are public, municipal, or private, depending on the type of their funding.
Children are admitted to the public and municipal nurseries and kindergartens after an application process which can be very long due to lack of enough free spots.
Free education aids for children in the compulsory pre-primary groups are provided by the state. Parents pay only a monthly fee for food, but they have to pay additional fee for the activities outside of the state’s educational requirements (e.g. art classes, English classes, dance classes etc).
There are private kindergartens, inlcluding such that offers education in English or German lanugage (mainly in big cities). The parents shall cover the full educational fee.
Another opportunity is to hire a babysitter. You can search suitable babysitters according to your criteria on http://www.detegledachki.com or contact EURAXESS Bulgaria Contact Points for more information.
The Bulgarian constitution states that everyone, including citizens of the EU and the EEA, who are living and working in the country, shall have the right to free education in state and municipal schools.
Full-time education is mandatory for all children from 7 to 16 years of age and the language of instruction at schools is Bulgarian. The school year in Bulgaria starts on September 15 and finishes in late May or early June, depending on the grade level of the students. The school year is divided into two terms (September - January, February – May/June) with three holidays - Christmas, Easter and summer. The school curriculum includes the following subjects: Bulgarian language and literature, foreign languages, mathematics, information technology, social sciences, natural sciences and ecology, music and art, physical education and sport. The grading system is based on numbers where 6 (excellent) is the highest and 2 (poor) is the lowest. Passing grades 3 through 6 and 2 denotes a failure. Home schooling is not permitted by law.
Admission to primary schools (grades I-VIII) is without entrance examinations, except for some specialized public and private schools. Admission to Profile oriented secondary schools and to language schools is after the successful completion of grades 7 or 8 and sitting exams depending on the profile of the professional school (Bulgarian language and literature, Mathematics etc.). For school enrolment besides personal documents an original transcript issued by the previous school, accompanied by an official translation into Bulgarian must be presented.
The Bulgarian educational system consists of four levels:
PRE-PRIMARY EDUCATION (optional) age level: from 3 to 6/7
BASIC EDUCATION (mandatory) grades I – VIII - Certificate
SECONDARY EDUCATION or Gimnasium - grades VII/VIII – XII/XIII - Diploma of Secondary Education
The schools, which offer foreign-language education, are mostly the private schools, the language high schools and those with extended education of foreign language.
The school education is free for foreigners with permanent stay in the country, accepted with an act of the Council of Ministries or accepted according to intergovernmental agreements, regulating this issue. The rest of the foreigners are accepted in Bulgarian schools and pay for their education in compliance with the Bulgarian legislation and the acts of the Minister of education.
Six Bulgarian secondary schools offer IB (International Baccalaureate) Programmes:
Zlatarski International School
Anglo-American School of Sofia