Education - Good as Long as Private?
Bulgaria's GERB government seeks to push through a draft bill envisaging states subsidies for private kindergartens and schools.
The idea behind the step is that of money following the student to an educational institution of the parents' choice, regardless of its financing scheme.
The move is expected to increase competition between educational institutions, thereby boosting quality.
The interesting part is that the amendments are being advertised as benign and "anti-discriminatory", given that they only have a chance of leading to one thing: social disaster.
The scant money Bulgaria allocates to education will be drained from the free-of-charge and universally accessible public schools to be injected into profit-driven and selectively accessible private companies established for educational purposes.
As a result, Bulgaria will become a glaring example of a "haves vs have-nots" country, where the ones to survive (and succeed), i.e. the fittest ones, will be told apart in kindergarten.
The Bulgarian government is turning a deaf year to the wave of global solidarity movements, preferring to dance to pronouncedly lobbyist tunes.
Chances are, however, that the environmentally conscious masses which rallied in Sofia to protect Bulgarian mountains from the incursions of private investors will oppose governmental assistance for a yawning gap between rich and poor.
Bulgaria's home-grown version of "Occupy" may, after all, be just a few brazen legal initiatives away?
Unlike some other countries, private education here - both secondary and tertiary - is largely the preserve of thick kids with rich parents.
I wouldn't worry about "depriving" bright youngsters of the opportunity of being taught in a class full of paying under-achievers.... ;)
This is actually a measure which reduces the gap between rich and poor. Suppose a state school receives a state subsidy of 1000 lv per student, and a private school that is fully privately funded has to charge 3000 lv per student. If that private school also receives 1000 lv per student from the state (and why not, it's false competition if only certain schools get state funding), they can reduce their price to 2000 lv and they become more affordable. The difference in costs for parents to send their kid to a private school instead of a state school is reduce by 1/3!