|South-East Europe Textbook Network|
States and Regions
TEACHING HISTORY, GEOGRAPY AND CIVICS IN BULGARIA
Answers by Valery Kolev
History and geography are taught separately in Bulgarian schools and civic education is integrated in all humanitarian subjects, but mainly in these two. History and geography start as separate subjects in the 4th grade (11 years old), although in the 2nd and 3rd grades (9-10 years old) there are some special subjects called Native region and Knowing the Motherland where they are integrated with an emphasis on local history and local geography.
Afterwards history and geography are taught up to the 11th grade (18 years old) in gymnasium and in technical schools (technicum). In the last 12th grade (introduced in 2001/2002) they are not taught. At the same time history and geography can be selected from the 9th grade (16 years old) onwards in gymnasium for additional hours and they can be up to the same horarium as the vocational hours.
From the 4th grade up to the 8th grade history and geography are taught two hours per week.
In gymnasium they are taught also two hours per week (9-11th grades).
In technical schools they are taught 1 hour per week (9-11th grades).
National history and national geography are taught separately from world history and world geography.
4th grade - Ancient history (Ancient Thrace included)
5th grade - Medieval Bulgarian history, 7-17th c.
6th grade - Modern Bulgarian history, 18-20th c.
7th grade - Modern world history
8th grade - Contemporary world history
9th grade - Modern world history
10th grade - Contemporary world history
11th grade - Bulgarian national history, 7-20th c.
The exams for the gymnasium and technical schools after the 6th grade are on both national and world history.
In the mature exams after the 11th (onwards after 12th) grade are on both World and National history or geography, but are optional and the vocational exams are on Bulgarian literature and on Civic education.
The National curriculum on both subjects is general and liberal and gives much freedom both to textbook authors and to teachers.
There are alternative textbooks for almost every grade for history and geography. All textbooks have to be authorized by a commission of experts, appointed by the Ministry of education. It consists of school teachers, graphic designers an university professors.
The teachers are absolutely free to choose from the different textbooks and very often students in two classes in one and the same school use different textbooks for the same grade.
The main problems are social, connected with the sustainability of the educational system: lack of money for blackboards, for central heating, for teachers` salaries and this reflects to low polygraphical quality of the textbooks.