I am from Republic of Bulgaria. I belive that all of the participants here are well awere of were Bulgaria is located. Bulgaria is a beautiful country, full of pleasant surprises:
golden sandy beaches along the Black Sea coast, the Danube along the northern border, the lofty heights of the Balkan range and the beauty of the Rila, Pirin and Rodopa mountains, with their forests of magnificent trees. This is Bulgaria in 1 sentence.
I will present my institution very shortly:
The National Council for Ethnic and Demographic Issues Cooperation is established at the Council of Ministers. Chairperson of the Council is the Vice Prime Minister.
NCCEDI is the governmental body in charge of coordination and consultation of minority issues as well as of the general regular monitoring of the implementation of the integration policies. Its purpose is to influence the governmental decision-making process on the ground that its members are representatives of the government as well as representatives of the civil society, particularly organization of ethnic minorities. The Secretariat is the structure within the CoM administration established to administratively assist the NCCEDI and actively participate in the formulation and conducting of the governmental policy in the filed of multi-ethnic relations.
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The NCCEDI has a respectable experience of the formulation, implementation and coordination of international projects and programmes, financed by EU pre-accession funds.
The educational component were the part of all this implemented projects.
Cultural policy and participation of immigrants in the cultural live
An important element of contemporary cultural policy is the real and active participation of young people including immigrants in different forms of cultural expression.
Intercultural education is an education for all children and not only for those of ethnic minorities.
Art education is the key tool in the hands of teachers to pass new knowledge and experiences, for reaching a European ÑŽÑ€Ñƒ Ð¿Ð¸ÑŠÐ½ art education culture, an intercultural understanding and the free development of creativity ÐºÑ€ÐµÐ°Ñ‚Ð¸Ð²Ð¸Ñ‚Ð¸ based on education, knowledge and information.
Ðrt and culture are indispensable elements of a comprehensive education, the objective of which is to achieve the maximum benefit for and best possible development of each and every individual and thus enable every individual to participate actively in society as a constructive member of the community.
Like science, art can contribute to an overall process of development in society as a result of
its view of the world and its approach to creativity ÐºÑ€ÐµÐ°Ñ‚Ð¸Ð²Ð¸Ñ‚Ð¸ . Moreover, cultural education creates a constructive basis for encounter Ð¸Ð½ÐºÐ¾ÑƒÐ½Ñ‚ÐµÑ€ and discussion, for coexistence and cooperation.
The function of schools in society is not only to give our children knowledge and skills, but
to open up spheres of experience and development in which young people can get to know
themselves and become familiar with the world, and which will comprehensively foster the
development of their personalities. "Education in the arts" and education "through the arts" open up access to a more widely ÑƒÐ°Ð¹Ð´Ð»Ð¸ defined Ð´Ð¸Ñ„Ð°Ð¹Ð½Ð´ cultural education and are an essential part of it at the same time.
The aim of education must be to promote the full development of the personality, talents,Ñ‚ÐµÐ»Ð°Ð½Ñ‚Ñ and mental and physical capabilities ÐºÐµÐ¹Ð¿Ð°Ð±Ð¸Ð»Ð¸Ñ‚Ð¸ÐµÑ of each individual child.
The schools must provide the time and space for this development of linguistic and non-linguistic forms of expression. Experimental situations must be permitted or created that will
allow young people to make discoveries and develop new things or new modes of performance - in their own language, in their own individual ways, in their own personal forms of expression.
Artistic processes are always search processes that involve a seeking of individual paths, and at the same time they are processes of creative thinking. They bring new understanding of oneself in combination with greater Ð³Ñ€ÐµÐ¹Ñ‚ÑŠÑ€ understanding of and new connections with the
world. And they produce insight and knowledge in a special way.
We know that people who do not learn to deal with emotional intelligence run the risk of developing large deficits in perception, in decision-making ability and in the capacity to cope with everyday life and social situations.
Time cuts and the setting of other educational focuses are reducing the scope of these areas
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of education in many European countries to such an extent that the potential of children and young people often remains disregarded. The result is that, on the one hand, young people's chances for development are lost at an early age and, on the other hand, their potential remains untapped for society as a whole - even though society's need for precisely Ð¿Ñ€Ð¸ÑÐ°Ð¹Ð·Ð»Ð¸ the competences and qualities that are developed through artistic and cultural education is greater than ever.
Art and educational institutions have an educational mandate.
A new learning culture has to be promoted by enabling Ð¸Ð½ÐµÐ¹Ð±Ð»Ð¸Ð½Ð³ new learning communities
and supporting networks.
Cultural institutions, too, need to rethink their roles in connection with cultural education;
generally, the production, presentation and preservation of the cultural heritage are placed
in the foreground while education takes a back seat.
In this respect, great differences are observable among the various countries of Europe. As far as mandates and measures relating to cultural and educational policy are concerned, a number of cultural institutions offer cultural education programmes which are also school-oriented.
Cultural education has been on the European agenda for a number of years. It is not the particular concern of a few idealists interestÐµÐ´ in art and culture. It is a professional sphere of
action in which teachers, cultural educators and artists work. Their goal is to develop cultural competence - which is considered one of the key competences of the 21st century. 9) Cultural competence develops and expands in the course ÐºÐ¾Ñ€Ñ of longterm learning processes if these are allowed to proceed at individual speeds. It evolves to the best advantage in a lifelong and life-accompanying educational process.
The ability to enter into intercultural dialogue and transcultural understanding will decide our future.
Cultural education cannot simply be prescribed.
It requires a new culture of teaching and learning, which
â€¢ is open and cooperative both internally and externally,
â€¢ focuses on the needs of the pupils,
â€¢ is open to innovative, interdisciplinary work and
â€¢ is project-oriented
When we speak of culture and education today, we have to take into account global migrations, worldwide communication networks, international business groups and the problem of poverty, which concerns all societies. Europe, both as a cultural area and as an economic area, needs qualified citizens with intercultural competence, interest in linguistic diversity, the willingness to partake in innovative lateral thinking, a vigorous Ð²Ð¸Ð³ÑŠÑ€ÑŠÑ sense of social awareness Ð°ÐµÑ€Ð½ÐµÑ and the capacity to act with solidarity.
The European goals - equality of opportunity for all, cosmopolitanism and justice - have to lead the way. If we are aware of the challenges that life today presents for individuals and the community - namely, not merely to tolerate cultural differences but to analyse them and come to understand the reasons behind their ever new manifestations, not to confuse integration with assimilation, and to see participation as a constructive and active "taking part" rather than only as something passive - then we have arrived at the core of cultural education.
Multicultural education in Bulgaria
Another pressing problem arising from the absence of migrant integration policy in the country is related to the isolation and segregation that children of immigrant background or mixed Ð¼Ð¸ÐºÑÑ‚ marriages often face at Bulgarian state schools. Most teachers have not been trained in intercultural communication and teaching in multicultural settings and seem unable to cope when such needs arise. As already mentioned, the refugee integration programme envisages resource teacher support for refugee children in their adjustment to the different language of instruction and school curriculum. This provision, however, has to be extended to other groups of migrant children, in order to ensure their full integration and socialization ÑÐ¾ÑˆÑŠÐ»Ð°Ð¹Ð·ÐµÐ¹Ñ‰ÑŠÐ½ into mainstream education.
On account of problems providing multicultural education in Bulgaria, many parents choose to enrol their children at private schools. One of the main problems of private school education, however, is the fact that it often results in encapsulation within one's own community and offers little quality interaction with children from other cultural backgrounds or ones belonging to the host culture. Another downside of community private schooling is the difficulty it subsequently poses Ð¿ÑŠÐ·ÐµÑ for students who wiÑ‚h to continue their education at local universities.
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Parents in mixed Ð¼Ð¸ÐºÑÑ‚ marriages, on the other hand, find it difficult to teach children their native language on a par with Bulgarian and prefer Ð¿Ñ€Ð¸Ñ„ÑŠÑ€ to enrol them at state schools where they could learn both languages, also known as the Armenian school, and high school No 18. They choose these schools not only to avoid the often Ð¾Ñ„Ñ„ÐµÐ½ unaffordable ÑŠÐ½ÑŠÑ„Ð¾Ñ€Ð´ÑŠÐ±ÑŠÐ» tuition Ñ‚ÑƒÐ¸ÑˆÑŠÐ½ fees in the private school sector, but also because they want to encourage their children's interaction with other Bulgarians and ease their integration into the Bulgarian society. A good practice that is worth replicating are the Arabic classes offered at the Armenian school, which started with 13 children several years ago, to reach 45 kids last year and 70 children this year.  This arrangement Ð°Ñ€ÐµÐ¹Ð½Ð´Ð¶Ð¼ÑŠÐ½Ñ‚, however, is more of a product of good will and personal and community initiative than an integrational educational policy. Diversity in Bulgarian schools should be further promoted by teacher training in multicultural education, as well as pluralist textbooks reflecting the differences between various communities in the country and encouraging children to bring to the classroom varying cultural experiences.
Immigrating to Bulgaria
Emigration and immigration are quite asymmetrical in terms of numbers, political attention and scholarly analysis. To ration Ñ€ÐµÑˆÐ¸Ð¾ is 10 to 1: one immigrant who arrives in Bulgaria is correspond to 10 Bulgarians who leave Â the country.
The official data of foreigners reported in the National strategy (2008) are 55Â 684.
The geographical map of immigration in Bulgaria is very simple: The capital accepts more than one third (35%) of all immigrants, the three other biggest cities - one fourth: Plovdiv (9%), Varna - 8%, Bourgas (5%)
About 35% of immigrants coming to Bulgaria, Ð°rÐµ settled in Sofia .. According to various data in the country has between 65 and 100 thousand immigrants. "We can say that Sofia has between 18 and 25 thousand immigrants". The capital Sofia and Plovdiv, the second largest city in the country, host the largest immigrant communities in the country.
Each group has its own dynamics. The professional profile of immigrants is correlated mainly with the country of origin and level of education. EU and US citizens come to Bulgaria mainly as experts, consultants, managers, highly qualified personal in foreign companies. The cultural variables Ð²Ð°Ñ€Ð°Ð¹ÑŠÐ±ÑŠÐ»Ñ are the most important for understanding the female(Ñ„Ð¸Ð¼ÐµÐ¹Ð») attitude to labor.
For example Varna and the region are officially listed 520 foreign nationals. Most are Russians and Ukrainians.
In 13 schools in Varna are studying children of immigrants. Learning Bulgarian language and the integration of children in schools is a serious problem.
Parents have to pay between 800 and 1500 bul. leva per year for the education of children in schools.
In other cities they cann not afford to pay such fees.Ð§ÑƒÐ¹Ñ‚ÐµÐŸÑ€Ð¾Ñ‡Ð¸Ñ‚ Ð½Ð° Ð»Ð°Ñ‚Ð¸Ð½Ð¸Ñ†Ð°
Ð ÐµÑ‡Ð½Ð¸Ðº - ÐŸÑ€ÐµÐ³Ð»ÐµÐ´ Ð½Ð° Ð¿Ð¾Ð´Ñ€Ð¾Ð±ÐµÐ½ Ñ€ÐµÑ‡Ð½Ð¸Ðº
Gender and age structure
The gender ratio Ñ€ÐµÑˆÐ¸Ð¾ within migrant communities in Bulgaria is in favour of male migrants, who represent 62 % of all immigrants in the country. The gender and age structure of immigrant communities in Bulgaria does not diverge significantly from global migration trends in which the prototypical migrant worker is young and male.
Educational attainment and language skills
The average immigrant in Bulgaria is very well-educated: most migrants have completed secondary education; 37.1 % hold a university degree (Bachelor's or Master's), 2.1 % hold a higher academic degree, and the same percentages of migrants have only primary education.
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