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National Assembly
of the Republic of Bulgaria
Members of parliament, Bulgarian language’ teachers abroad, civil organizations and government’ representatives discussed in the National Assembly the problems of Bulgarian educational establishments in foreign countries
16 July 2008

On July 16th 2008 National Assembly hosted a conference on the topic “The Bulgarian schools abroad and new policies regarding the Bulgarian Diaspora”. The forum was held under the patronage of NA Chairman Georgi Pirinski and was organized by the Association of Bulgarian Schools Abroad. Teachers of more than 27 Bulgarian schools in 20 countries around the world took part.

In his opening address, National Assembly Chairman Georgi Pirinski assured the participants that the issues of the conference represent an important cause for all members of Bulgarian parliament and for the whole society. He said that the problems of educating children of Bulgarian families abroad in such a way as to give them the opportunity to reintegrate easily in the life of Bulgaria when they would be back is of great importance for the near future of Bulgaria and the integration of the Bulgarian society.

He mentioned that the parliamentary Committee on education and science is a very active player in the common efforts to encourage and achieve this policy and reminded of the recent discussion, held in parliament, regarding amendments in public education legislation and the educational standards for Bulgarian language. He added that the 40th National Assembly is strongly committed to the issues discussed. He stressed that the conference is important in the sense that it could provide MPs with enough information on what has to be done further and how they could be useful to the Association.

The efforts of the Association are enlightening and aimed at reviving the Bulgarian identity abroad and they enjoy the full support of parliament, noticed Chairman Pirinski.

The educational policies directed to the Bulgarians abroad are an inseparable part of the policies of the state, added the Chairman of the Committee on Education and Science Lutvi Mestan.
He also said that the stress should be on teaching Bulgarian language to children abroad and not so much to teach them all curricula in Bulgarian. The government and the state need to make additional efforts in this direction and this could be done with less financial resources. Mr. Mestan suggested that the educational programmes for Bulgarians abroad should be made part of the national educational plans in order to get more financial back up.

The president of the Managing Board of the Bulgarian Schools Abroad Association, Boyan Kulov , stated that the education of the coming of age generation of Bulgarians abroad should be in the center of the long term strategy of the state and that Bulgarian schools should be the essential tool to accomplish this goal.

The Bulgarian schools in foreign countries and their board of trustees are among the most influential Bulgarian organizations abroad and could be instrumental in the accomplishment of the government policies in the field of education.

The main topics of discussion at the conference were the “Preservation of Bulgarian language and identity abroad; Elaboration of a common teaching concept in the Bulgarian schools abroad; The government educational requirements for matriculation in Bulgarian language in the framework of the European Language Portfolio and Different approaches for teaching Bulgarian language.

The aim of the forum was to come up with new solutions for providing children abroad with basic knowledge of the language and opportunities that will give them the abilities to fully integrate into the Bulgarian educational system and society.
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