Reform with EU in mind

17th September 1999 at 01:00

BULGARIA is attempting to modernise its curriculum as it moves to join the European Union.

Civic education will become one of three main matriculation subjects at the end of compulsory schooling, which is being lengthened from 11 to 12 years.

Multiculturalism will also be studied to improve relations between ethnic groups.

The sudden change in the post-communist period from one set of values to other, less clear ones has caused problems, especially for younger people. And the introduction of compulsory civics will be unwelcome to badly-paid teachers.

The Council of Europe is providing some assistance, but it may be years before students are properly tested in civics.

Seven other subjects will form the basis of the reformed national curriculum: Bulgarian language and literature, arts, maths including computing - sciences, foreign languages, PE and life skills.

English and another key language, such as German or Spanish, are now to be taught at all schools from the first year. Ethnic-minority children are to learn Bulgarian as an additional subject.

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