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Bulgaria - Nonformal Education

distance children national learning


Under communism, formal classroom education was complemented by an extensive system of children and youth organizations and establishments. Since 1989, non-formal education has been gravely destabilized, owing this to ideological considerations, acute shortage of material and financial resources, and a lack of a strategy on the part of the education administration. There exists municipal children's centers, sports, art, and music schools, young technicians and agrobiologists labs, and centers for works with children, in Bulgaria. However, their number and capacity is considerably lower than the actual needs. There is an acute shortage of summer schools and activities for schoolchildren.

Legislation adopted in 1998 specified that distance education is a legitimate mode of study for obtaining a university degree. Approximately 85,000 students of higher education are enrolled in extra-mural courses. These students constitute a significant potential market for high quality distance education programs. Distance learning is institutionalized and operates within the framework of the National Center for Distance Education, established in 1994 by the Ministry of Education and Science. This is a consortium of 20 universities, with representatives of the Ministry of Education and Science, the Bulgarian National Television, and the Bulgarian National Radio. It is chaired by a representative of the PHARE program for Bulgaria. The role of the center includes development of distance learning strategy, research, development of materials, dissemination of information, promotion of contacts with external entities, and co-ordination of the implementation of the PHARE Multi-Country Program for Distance Learning.


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