Mix-Up Emerges in Teaching Minority Languages in Bulgaria
The Turkish, the Armenian, and the Hebrew languages have been included as compulsory electives for children from these minorities in Bulgaria, in grades 1 – 8.
The information was reported by the Cross news agency, citing the official page of the Education Ministry.
A check, however, has shown that school principals, teachers and parents are largely unaware of these changes.
Caretaker Education Minister, Prof Nikolay Miloshev, is quoted in saying the idea was launched by the new Cabinet of former Prime Minister, Plamen Oresharski, which was sworn-in last Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the new Education Minister, Aneliya Klisarova, has voiced opposition to mandatory teaching of any mother tongue other than Bulgarian.
The Education Ministry and the Regional Education Inspectorate in the capital Sofia are yet to confirm the new directive.
Compulsory electives, albeit an oxymoron, is the term used in Bulgarian media and by education officials.
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Who is trying to undermine our educational system once again? Bulgarian educational system used to give and still gives very good results and should be kept as stable and intact as it is. These kind of "liberties" allowing the introduction of such immature decisions concerning the national educational system, NOT EVEN SUPPORTED BY THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION are getting close to a criminal act endangering Bulgaria's national interests!!!
FYI: here http://www.mon.bg/top_menu/general/ Turkish, Armenian and Romani are mentioned as elective mother tongues that can be studied. Hebrew is not called a mother tongue but is mentioned in between them in the list. The main minority languages of Bulgaria according to the 2011 census are Turkish (600.000), Romani (280.000), Russian (15.800), Armenian and Romanian (5500 each). "Jewish" were only 147, with only 18 less than 20 years old ...
Bulgaria hasn't signed the European Charter for Regional and Minority languages and it is obvious that the new government has no intention to do so.
Therefore regional and minority languages have no official status in Bulgaria that is according to elementary standards. The few cases when some minority languages are mentioned make it clear that the Bulgarian government intends to give this status only to non-muslim and non-gypsy groups. Turkish and Romani (native language of about 20% of the Bulgarians) are clearly discrimnated, whereas Hebrew (with how many native speakers amongst Bulgarians citizens? 10, 20?) have a privileged status.
That gives you the picture how serious Bulgaria is in applying non-discriminatory rules towards non-slav or muslim Bulgarians.
"Compulsory electives" is a contradiction. The site of the ministry mentions them as elective courses (ZIP), and also includes Romani (the second most abundant minority language in Bulgaria after Turkish). To introduce minority language education is part of the new Operational Programme Science & Education, and very much in the spirit of the EU (In varietate concordia!). Strange that the education ministers don't seem to know about this...