The Bulgarian State will Make Preschool Compulsory for 4-year-olds
4-year-olds must go to pre-school. This envisages the adoption by the Council of Ministers of a plan to implement the strategy for reducing the share of early school leavers. Thus, compulsory pre-school education becomes three, instead of two years, as it is so far.
To do this, however, a change in the Preschool and School Education Act has to be adopted, explained to Darik Vanya Traykova, an expert in the "Pre-school and School Education" Directorate in the Education Office.
Otherwise, the strategic document adopted today provides for 90% of children of this age to attend a kindergarten by the end of 2020. Non-governmental and parent organizations are strongly opposed to compulsory pre-school education for four-year-olds.
The increase in compulsory pre-school education does not change the conditions under which the children are educated and raised at the moment, explained Vanya Traykova, expert at the education ministry.
"At present, about 80% of 4-year-olds are attending a kindergarten, so nothing will change for those children who will be in the kindergarten next year, which is a plan to implement the strategy. It is not a normative act, ie the increase in this mandatory period can only happen with a change in the law on pre-school and school education, "she explained.
The issue of introducing mandatory pre-school training for 4-year-olds has prompted many parents to discontent. It will continue to be discussed in different formats, both with parental and teacher organizations, and when there is consensus, it will be passed to its final acceptance, explained Traykova.
"We are also planning an analysis to ensure that this measure will provide a place for all four-year-olds, and for such a measure, municipalities should also take action to provide places for all children," she said.
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