© UNICEF Bulgaria/2013/Pirozzi
UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and General comment No. 1 (2001) ARTICLE 29 (1):The aims of education define the development of the child’s personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential as a key goal of education. UNICEF is working to achieve that goal by supporting the inclusion of all children in quality education and ensuring that:
:: Every child is in school;
:: Every child is learning;
:: Every child is learning early and enrolling on time;
:: Every child is supported by effective and efficient governance.
Over the last decades Bulgaria is facing serious challenges to enable access to education, reduce inequalities that impede it and ensure inclusive environment and quality learning in kindergartens and schools that would guarantee that all children acquire the knowledge, skills and competences they need to succeed in life today and in the future. The right to education is a key human right, yet thousands of children in Bulgaria are out-of-school.
Lack of motivation to learn, low functional literacy, limited opportunities and access to labour market for young people, lack of practice-oriented teaching and resistance against implementation of contemporary interactive teaching methods and ICT, are only part of the challenges that the Education reform in Bulgaria needs to address. The economic situation in Bulgaria further deepens these negative trends and leads to increase of the early school leaving rate.
Continuing efforts are needed to change attitudes towards the investment in early childhood education and care, the timely enrolment and the duration of the compulsory preschool and school education, the elimination of financial and economic, social and geographic barriers towards access to a quality education service for all children.
UNICEF Bulgaria works with a number of partners to ensure the right of every child to quality education. Our activities in the area of education are aimed at:
:: Enhancing school enrolment by:
- addressing and eliminating the barriers towards access to education for the most vulnerable children – including children who live in poverty, in rural and remote areas, children with disabilities, refugee children, children from ethnic minorities and others.
:: Reducing the share of early school leavers through:
- Dropout prevention activities;
- Introduction of an effective national warning system for identification of children at risk of dropping out.
:: Developing and piloting model for accelerated learning and re-entry in the educational system.
:: Advocacy for changing attitudes towards:
- Early learning and compulsory preschool education;
- Inclusive education for children with disabilities;
- Education of Roma girls.
- 4,2 % of children in school age are out-of-school;
- Around 18 000 children and youth have dropped out or left school too early;
- 22 % or 167 670 among youth aged 15-24 are not in education, employment or training;
- Over 40% of youth aged 15-16 are functionally illiterate.