Bulgarian Deputy Minister of Education and Science Dr. Maria Gaidarova, at her meeting with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Bulgarian representative Seda Kozuku, announced that as of November 2022, 2,250 children and students from Ukraine are enrolled in Bulgarian schools and age groups of pre-school education in kindergarten.
Also present at the meeting were UNHCR’s Community-Based Child Protection Adviser, Roki Aziz, and UNHCR’s Child Protection Adviser, Petya Karayaneva.
According to the data of the Ministry of Education and Science (MON), as of November 2022, 512 children in preschool education age groups are enrolled in kindergartens and schools, and 1,738 students from Ukraine are enrolled in schools. All of them study in 220 kindergartens and 431 schools.
The Deputy Minister emphasized that all these children and students receive additional training in Bulgarian as a foreign language, as MON has developed an auxiliary textbook, and additional training is provided in other subjects to overcome educational difficulties.
Within the scope of the meeting, policies successfully implemented by MON in the field of inclusive education for children and students seeking or obtaining protection were presented. Gaidarova highlighted measures taken and results achieved to integrate Ukrainian children and students who sought or received protection into Bulgarian kindergartens and schools. MON has a legally defined procedure for the application and registration of children and students from Ukraine, ensuring their timely and unhindered integration into the Bulgarian education system.
Currently, about 1,400 Ukrainian university students, students participating in the specialization program, and doctoral students are studying in Bulgaria. The Preschool Education Evaluation Center and the school held exams to determine the proficiency of the Bulgarian language for foreigners going to practice medicine in Bulgaria. 22 citizens of Ukraine received certificates for practicing the profession. Of these, 9 will work as a Medical Specialist, 7 as a Dentist, 1 as a Pharmacist, 3 as a Nurse, 1 as a Medical Assistant and 1 as an Occupational Therapist.
During the meeting, the United Nations Mission and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) expressed their satisfaction with the joint work and good partnership with regard to children seeking or obtaining protection. Special thanks were expressed for the efforts of experts, principals and teachers to involve children from Ukraine in the educational process, and it was agreed that cooperation will continue to develop and bring new successes.
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