четвъртък, 27 декември 2012 г.


Като резултат от съвместната ни работа с доц. д-р Ванче Бойков от Университета в Ниш се появи и това изследване на ОБРАЗОВАТЕЛНИТЕ ПОЛИТИКИ ПО ОТНОШЕНИЕ НА НАЦИОНАЛНИТЕ И ЕТНИЧЕСКИТЕ МАЛЦИНСТВА В БЪЛГАРИЯ И СЪРБИЯ, което е публикувано на английски в сборника:  REENGINEERING AND ENTERPRENOURSHIP UNDER THE CONTEMPORARY CONDITIONS OF ENTERPRISE BUSINESS, Nis, 2012, ISBN: 978-86-6125-065-1

Сборникът включва тематична колекция от статии на учени, работили по Tempus project: 145010-TEMPUS-2008-RS-JPHES Development of Lifelong Learning Framework in Serbia (DELFIS)

Статията е публикувана на стр. 143-159


This paper presents and analyses the law frame related to the educational policies regarding the children belonging to different ethnical and national minority groups in the two neighbouring Balkan countries.
The work describes the development of the processes ensuring the equal access to quality education of kids’ whos mother language is different from the official language of the country. Also it analyses the actual condition and the possibility for studying mother language at school.
The paper presents good practices and achievements in the field of educational integration and the intercultural education and suggests improvements which are specific for each of the two countries but still bound together by the European educational framework and common European values.


According to NSI (National Statistical Institute) the population of Bulgaria (dated 01.02.2011) is 7 364 570 people.
The Bulgarian ethnical group consists of 5 664 624 people, or 84.8% of all perons who voluntierly declared their ethnical iddentity. The Turkish ethnical group is the second in numbers, as 588 318 people have declared themselves as ethnical Turks. They are 8.8% of all people.
The Roma ethnical group is traditionally the third in size. It concsists of 325 343 people or 4.9% which is a 0.2% rise since 2001.
49 304 people belong to other ethnical groups, which makes 0.7%. Here we can find Russians - 9 978 people, Armenians - 6 552 people, Vlachs - 3 684 people, Greeks - 1 379 people, Jews - 1 162 people, Karakachanians - 2 556 people, Macedonians - 1 654 people, Romanians – 891 people, Ukrainians - 1 789 people, and others - 19 659 people.
The persons with undefined ethnical identity are 53 391 - 0.8%.”1
In the end of 2011 a cansus was performed in Serbia. According to the published data the population of the republic is 7 129 666 people. The national minorities in Serbia (without Kosovo and Metohia) are 13,47% or 1 135 393 people.
The most numerous are the Hungarians (293 299 people ot 3.91%), Boshnians (136 087 people or 1.81%) and Roma (108 193 people or 1.44%).
There are 20 497 Bulgarians living in Serbia (0,27%).


General characteristics:
  • The number of people living in the two neighbouring Balkan countries is almost the same;
  • The percentage of people identifying themselves as part of a minority group is almost the same – 14,2% in Bulgaria and 13,47% in Serbia.
  • In Bulgaria the data colected concerns ethnical minorities while in Serbia it concerns national minorities.
  • There are two big minorities in BulgariaTurkish (8,8% of the population) and Roma (4,9%) as well as large variety of many other smaller national or ethnical minorities calledother ethnical groups(1%) and the same amount of people (1%) that have not declared their ethnical identity. In Serbia, the largest minority – the Hungarians are less than 4% and the Roma are 1,44%.
  • In Bulgaria there are no explicit territorial divisions of the ethincal minorities. In certain regions the Turkish minority is local majority but this is true only for particular villages in North-East Bulgaria and the Rodopi Mountains, while in Serbia there are regions that are populated exclusively with members of one minority. All national minorities in Serbia are homogenic in certain territory exept the Roma who are spread around the whole country. The Hungarians live in the notrhern part of the republic in the autonomy region of Voivodina, the Boshnians live in Rashka region and the Albanians – in the southern areas and the autonomy region Kosovo and Metohia. The Bulgarian minority is concentrated mainly in the towns of Dimotrovgrad (Tsaribrod) and Bosilegrad2 and few of them live in the municipalities of Surdulica and Babushnica.
  • The Bulgarians are a majority in Bulgaria and a minority in Serbia where the represent 0,27% of the total population.


The Bulgarian law-maker has developed and accepted in the Constitution of Republic of Bulgaria the “one nation” model. However it does not include a text that justifyes the use of that term.
The key words in the political texts are „unified state” and „union of the nation”. The one nation model is widely used in Europe and is approved in more than a half of the EU member states. It is based on the idea of civil (politic, state) nation which “…consits of all citizens of the state” [9,21]. In that sense the term nationality is used as a synonim of citizenship. “In the frame if that model a national minority is part of the (civil) nation, i.e. it is a minority that consists of nationals of the State who possess certain characteristics that differ form the majority ” [9,21]
The Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria guarantees every member of the stase the right to use the national and overall human culture as well as to develop his own ethnocultural identity. Article 54. (1) says: “Everyone has the right to use the national and overall human values as well as to develope his own culture according to his ethnical identity and this is granted by law” [7]. Article 6(2) says: „No restrictions to the rights or privileges based on racial, national, ethical identity or sex, origin, religion, education, beliefs, political identity, personal and social status or belongings are permited. [7]
According to the Constitution: “The Republic of Serbia is a state belonging to the people of Serbia and all of its nationals, based on the supremacy of law, the basis of democracy, the human and minority rights and freedoms and the affiliation to the European principles and values [13] The Constitution respects the human rights including the rights of the minorities. To be considered as a national minority, an ethnocultural community has to have long term relations with the teritory of the Republic of Serbia and to differ from the rest of the population by language, religion or customs as well as presenting the will to maintain its identity.
The Republic of Serbia is multyethnical state. The culturally heterogenneous composition is a result from a variety of historical, political, ecenomical, socio-cultural demographical factors. The events in the 1990’s and the formation of new states on the territory of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia contributed to the formation of new communities. Many ethnical groups remained divided form the rest of their peoples and remained as a minority in the new states. There are officialy 20 ethnical groups in Serbia that are granted a national minority status.
The law for protection of the rights and the freedoms of the national minorities is the main law that arranges the rights of the minorities. The law settles the standarts included in the Framework convention for protection of the national minorities and in the European charter for the regional and minority languages of the EC. The fundaments of the system for protection of the minoriries are: prohibition of the discrimination, ensuring of the equality if rights, freedom of national self-identifying and speech, cooperation with the fellow-countrymen abroad, obligatory obeynig to the Constitution as well as the international law and society moral and preserving of the unconditional rights. The collective rights are based on the cultural autonomy, which includes the right to retain a national identity through the right for using the language in speaking and writing, education in mother language, the right to use name and surname, formation of private educational institutions, access to information, etc. Maintaining the features consist of measures that ensure the use of language, the developlement of the culture as well as the beliefs/religion by giving an opportunity for bringing in national symbols, which differ from the ones used by the mother State.
When the members of certain minority are more than 15% of the population of the municipality the law gives them the right to use their language in public communication, to be educated and informed in their mother language and to develop their culture.
This law allows gathering of national councils (parliaments) of the minorities3, which have more than 70 set plenary powers in order to implementation of the rights of the respective national minorities. The plenary powers are so wide that the Pairlament of Serbia can not accept a single law regarding the national minorities without their approval. The councils have the right to create educational and cultural institutions, medias4, to participate in the creation of the laws regarding the national minorities. These councils are allowed to ask for the accepting of the respective national language as an official in the particular municipality and to request the celebration of national symbols and holidays. The national councils are elected directly after the members of the national minority apply for that.
In 2003 Serbia has accepted a law against the discrimination and has signed bilateral agreements protecting the minorities with Croatia, Macedonia, Hungary and Romania.


Common documents:

  • In both countries the main lawthe Constitution arranges the rights of the citizens. The Serbian constitution arranges also the rights of the minorities;
  • The Bulgarian constitution defines the nation as a civil formation while in Serbia the termscitizen and nation. The system for protecting right minorities is one of the most developed in former Yugoslavia, especially if we take into account that in this biggest republic there was the biggest number of people belonging to different national minorities. Despite the monopolitical system in the country, the minorities were politically presented dirung the years of former Yugoslavia.
  • All international conventions regarding the human rights are signed and ratified.


  • The Bulgarian constitution does not talk explicitly for minorities while this is included in the Serbian one. The position of the minorities in Serbia is regulated mainly by the constitution and by other laws, among which are the Act for protection of the rights and freedoms of the national minorities, the Act for the official use of the language and the writing, the Act for the basis of the educational system and the upbringing and the Act for the local selfgovernment.
In Serbia the term national minorityis used since the WWI (1919) when the state borders are set without taking into account the ethnical rights. The national minority defines part of the population of a country which differs from the rest of the population and one of the criterias is the characteristics, typical for a nation: language, religion, customs, etc. The term “national minority” is understood as part of the people from a mother country who live in another nation’s state. The national minority is part of a nation which has its own country but lives in the country of another nation. In general we say that a national minority is differentiated and established group of people in the territory of a state, which members are citizens of the country but differ in religion, language, culture or other characteristics from the majority of the population.
The Serbian society is multicultural. However it is a conservative society that assumes that the human rights are something imposed that does not correspond to the Serbian way of life. The social and the legal status of the minoritues are regulated by laws that correspond to the European standarts. Respecting the minority rights depends not only on the normative decisions, but on the deep social changes, the process of democratization as well as the bipartate and international relations that Serbia develops with the countries that the minoriries originate from. The processes that contribute to the stability of the minorities and represent a basis for the prosperity of the country are developing slowly but steadily.

Article 36 (2) of the Bulgarian Constitution says: “Bulgarian citizens who mother language is not Bulgrian have the right to study and use their language besides the obligatory learning of Bulgarian language” [7]. This article acknowledges the presence of language minorities.
The Act for the National Education also recognizes the presence of ethnical, religious and language differences among the Bulgarian nationals. Article 4 (2) is about the access to education: “No restrictions or priviledges based on race, nation, sex, ethnical and social origin, religion and social status are permited”. [3]
The presence of language minorities and their right to learn their mother language is acknowledged in article 8 (2) in the same act (amendments applied in State Newspaper, 36, 1998): “The students, whos mother language is not Bulgarian,are obliged to learn Bulgarian and have the right to learn their mother language in the municipality schools under the protection and control of the State” [3] This text created a basis for learning Hebrew, Turkish, Romani and Armenian during the optional classes in secondary education schools. This is also regulated by Article 15. (3) of the Act for the degrees, educational minimum and te curriculum (amendments applied in State Newspaper, 95, 2002). The optional classes that the students are obliged choose from include mother language and religion education. [4 ]
In the Primary schools the mother language is part of the obligatory elective preparation, and in secondary schools, it is part of free elective subjects (optional). The Ministry of Education, Youth and Science has approved the curriculums for learning mother language and they are published on the Ministry website. The workload varies between 2 and 4 classes a week.
Article 9 of the Act for the foundations of the system for education and upbringing [5] gives an opportunity to the members of a minority to be educated in their language or in a bilingual way in case that this is requested by a minimum of 15 students. When the request is made by less than 15 students the minister of eduation can give a special permission for conducting the education. All minority students learn their mother language between two and five classes a week. The subject is called “Mother language and elements of the national culture”.
Most of the schools that educate students with a mother language defferent to Serbian are bilingual. However there are schools that conduct the educational process only in mother language. These schools are mostly in Voyvodina region where the education is in Hungarian, Romanian, Slovakian, Rusinian and Croatian language.


Common documents:

  • In both countries the right to study in mother language is pointed out in the main laws, related to the school education.
  • The number of classes in the curriculum is similar – 2 to 4 in Bulgaria and up to 5 in Serbia;


  • Due to the constitutional recognition of the different national minorities living on the territory of Republic of Serbia and according to the Act for protectiona of the rights and freedoms of the national minorities, the children have the right to be educated in school partially or entirely in their mother language;
The children in Bulgaria learn their mother language only if their parent request in written way and in the frame of the optional classes provided;
  • In Serbia the number of children from the minorities that use their mother tongue as their main language at school or learn it as an additional is greater than the number of children from the minorities in Bulgaria that use this right of theirs. For example, in the school year 2011/2012 in Bosilegrad secondary school “Georgi Dimitrov” there are 594 students and in Dimitrovgrad secondary school “Hristo Botev” there are 718. There are 60 students in Bosilegrad that use their right to be educated in Bulgarian while in Dimitrovrad there are none. In the eight classes in Bosilegrad there are more than 180 students. In the three classes in the Thechnical secondary school in Vranya there are almost 40 students. None of them is educated entirely in their mother Bulgarian language. For some students in Dimitrovgrad (Tsaribrod) secondary school the education is performed entirely in Bulgarian. There are more than 300 students in the school and for a second year there are classes that learn entirely in Bulgarian.
  • The right learn in mother language is a key condition and an insrtument for preservation of the language and the writing of the minorities. The Act for the foundations of the system for education and upbringing allows the national minorities in Serbia to respect they own tradition and culture along the official Serbian tradition and culture. In Serbia most of the children from the minorities take advantage of their rights while in Bulgaria the number of children with different mother languages is much lower and varies in the different years.
In Bulgaria the Roma origin students that were learning their mother language at school in 2004/2005 is 26, 2005/2006 - 54, in 2006/2007 – 109, in 2007/2008 - 83, in 2008/2009 - 32 and in 2009/2010 - 28 students.
The biggest minority group that learns mother language at school is the Turkish mainly in the regions with compact ethnical Turkish populationShumen, Razgrad, Targovishte, Kardzhali, Silistra, etc. Turkish as mother language has been learned in 2004/2005 by 19 896, in 2005/2006 by 16 174, in 2006/2007 by 17 763, in 2007/2008 by 15 924, in 2008/2009 by 12 392 and in 2009/2010 by 13 343 students.
Hebrew is tought only at one school in Sofia and Armenian at only two – in Sofia and Plovdiv.


E. Sachkova observes the education of the children from the minorities in Bulgaria in historical perspective. She recognizes “four stages that correspond to different educational policies towards the minorities: segregation (1878–1946), pluralism (1946-1958), assimilation (1958-1991) and integration (1991-).” [11, 49] During the first two periods there were minority and religion schools which were closed down by the communist government. For more than 30 years the educational acts that do not allow the existence of minority schools, performs assimilation policy in a single direction educational process without taking into consideration the ethnical and cultural diversity. It is worth mentioning the fact that in Bulgaria there are is small and stable number of ethnical groups and the children from these groups attend Bulgarian schools. During the communist regime they were deprived of the opportunity to learn something about themselves, the group, its history, culture and contribution to the development of the country. After the change of the political system episodical attempts have been made to support the ethnical self-identification. These attempts are done mainly by non-governmental organizations through projects. In the beginnig of the 1990’s these organization developed addenda to the Bulgarian language, History and Music textbooks, which reflect on the contribution of the particular ethnical or cultural group.
Bulgaria joined the European Union and the European educational space in the beginning of 2007. This created new requirements and challenges related to the ever growing needs of the society in the field of education. This lead to the creation of new educational paradigma. The global world culture and the European identity require skills for multi-cultural communication. The Bulgarian students must obtain these skills but before hand they need to have their own identity, view of life towards Europe and the whole world because every contact with the diversity happens in the conditions of the intercultural dialogue.
The development of the intercultural education ideas in the Bulgarian school were influenced by the Declaration of the European ministers of education regarding the intercultural education in the new European context adopted in 2003. The recommendations of the ministers of education of the 48 countries members of the European Council are targeting mainly the change of the philosophy of the education in the direction of accepting the values of the interculturalism.
This declaration was highly influential for the change that was made in Bulgaria. In 2004 the Ministry of Education and Science adopted Strategy for Educational Integration of the Children and Students from the Ethnical Minorities. There are two main priorities in the Strategy that was signed by the Minister on 11th of June 2004:
- complete integration of the Roma children and students through desegregation of the kinder gardens and the schools in the Roma neighbourhoods and creation of opportunities for equal access to quality education outside the neighbourhoods;
- optimization ot the school network in the municipalities consisting of small and dispersed settlements, including the support for the community schools in order to provide guarianteed quality of education.” [12]
The aim of the system of the National Education is to form the respect to the rights and freedoms of every individual as fundamental social value and to completely avoid every form of discrimination. The system has to create up to date basis for studying and respecting the different ethnical and religious groups and has to apply systematical efforts to overcome the prejudices and the discrimantion based on ethnical and religious basis.
One of the main reasons for adoption of the Strategy is that “there is not enough information about the minority’s history and culture in the curriculum. The main elements of cultural identity are mainly in the field of folklore, without taking into account all the other cultural achievements of the ethnical minorities, let alone their contribution to the national culture and the development of the society. [12]
The Strategy points out that in order to resolve the problemsit is necessary to guarantee a balance between the integration of the children and the students of the ethnical minorities into the educational system and the conservation and the development of their specific cultural identity. The preservation and the development of the cultural identity does not differentiate the children and students from the ethnical minorities. It is a precondition for their quality education and for their equal integration in the school life and the society. Confirming an atmosphere of intercultural acknowledgement, cooperation and enclosement as well as rising the intercultural dialogue in the multyethnical school environment is a cruitial part of the integrational policy.” [12]
This is the first notmative document that is officially adopted by the Minisrty of the Education and Science which uses the termintegrationand is directly related to the intercultural education.
In the actualized in March 2010 Strategy for Educational Integration of the Children and Students from the Ethnical Minorities, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Science sets the following common strategical goals, regarding the education and the integration of the children and students from the ethnical minorities:
Strategical goal 1: Adopting of normative documents and applying educational practices that ensure equal access to quality education for the children and the students from the ethnic minorities and their effective integration.
Strategical goal 2: Conservation and development of the cultural identity of the children and students from the ethnic minorities and turning the ethnocultural diversity into a source for mutual acknowledgement, respect and cooperation in common educational environment.
Strategical goal 3: Creation of preconditions for successful socialization of the children and students from the ethnic minorities and formation of suitable socio-psychological climate that will help the realization of the current Strategy. [1]
Also, parts of the main priorities are changed in correspondance to the change in the educational situation. The first priority remains the same but the second one is changed with two new ones: “support of the community schools to grant an access to quality education and aprooving the intercultural perespective as an immence part of the educataional integration of the children and students from the ethnic minorities during the proccess of modernization of the Bulgarian educational system.” [1]
Another new feature is the accent that is placed on the relation between the educational integration and the intercultural education. This is stated out in the third priority.
Among the values adopted in the strategy there are several that deserve mentioning:
- The Educational integration is a process which involves both the children from the ethnic minorities and the children from the majority. Its completition requires the efforts of the whole school community.
  • The ethnic profile of the groups at kindergarten and the classes at school should reflect the ethnocultural characteristics of the society in the paticular settlement. This is a precondion for successful educational integration.
  • An essential part of the integrational policy is the approving of intercultural recognition at school, cooperation and rising the volume of the intercultural dialogue in the multycultutal school environment.” [1]
The defining of the educational integration as a process that includes the whole school environment is a positive step. The integration could happen only if everyone is motivated to apply efforts to find the harmony through raising the level of intercultural sensitivity and tolerantion towards the difference.
The purpouse of the schools in the context of this educational policy is to find the balance between conservation the ethnica identity and the ethnocultural diversity in one hand and in the other - providing quality education in the paradigm of the interculturalism while taking into account the demographical characteristics of the particular settlement.
The right to receive information in the mother language along with the rights of access to education, acknowledgement and development of the culture and the right of official use of the language and the writing is one of the key rights of the minorities in Serbia and is guaranteed by the Constitution and the relevant acts.
According to the Act for protection of the rights and the freedoms of the national minorities in Serbia and Monte Negro, adopted on 26.02.2002 by the law-maker institution of FR Yugoslaviathe Skupshtina, the members of the national communities have the right to adequate expression in every field of the social life.
The Act for the local self-government (State newspaper RS, № 9/2002, 33/2004) obliges the representatives of the local self-government to workfor protection and applying of the private and collective rights of the national minorities and the ethnical groups” (article 18, point 28) and “approve the language and the writing of the national minorities which are in official use on the territory of the municipality” (article 18, point 29).
A balanced law framework is necessary for preserving and developing the quality and stability of the informational activities in mother language. The framework should apply in full, functional and effective institutional measurments upon the realization of the official juridical norms and the functioning of the institutions.5
The Act for official use of the language and the writing ensures that in the municipalities where traditionally the members of a national minority are more than 15%, their language to be in use officially. This allows the language to be used in the administrative and justice procedures, in the communication with the officials, when entering names in the public registers, in the representational bodies, naming units for local self-governemnent, towns and villages, squares, streets and other places [6].
The Act for the personal identification documents allows an ID card to be printed in the language and alphabet of the national minority.
The Act for local self-government is really important for the members of the national minorities, who live in mixed population municipalities. According to this law tha local self-governing bodies must provide conditions for preserving and developing of the identity of the minorities that live in the municipality through educational institutions, medias, official use of the language, etc. This law provides also an opportunity for establishment of International Relations Councils in the municipalities where the minorities form more than 10% of the total population.


  • In Bulgaria, there is dynamic to educational policies connected to children and pupil from ethnic minorities, while in Serbia according to multiethnic and multinational population from the time on FR Yugoslavia appear a trend for regulation of the rights for access to education and social communication in the mother tongue and the legal framework for compliance.
  • In the last twenty years in Bulgaria there is a positive change. As noted by Yosif . Nunev: „Certainly the presence of ethnic, religious and linguistic diversity " triggers " to a higher contribution of the Bulgarian school in implementing the initiative taken by the Ministry of Education policy on sustainable balance between harmonization and the principle of school integration children and minority students and the principle of conservation and development of their identity. The Bulgarian school is assigned high expectations for the real contribution of intercultural education for the realization of equitable dialogue between representatives of different cultures in it and the public recognition of the identity of the other. And paradoxical as it may sound educational integration of children and pupils from ethnic minorities and other culture differentiate communities through the prism of intercultural education, lies between these extremes in society side by segregation and assimilation. In other words - through practical implementation of intercultural education in our schools must find the right balance for balancing these extremes.”[10, 36]
  • Legislation and policies coming from it are very different in the two countries, which is easily explained by different socio-demographic structure of the population and subject to compulsory education children.
  • In Bulgaria, the official language of instruction and in meetings is Bulgarian, in Serbia there are is linguistic pluralism.
  • Knowledge and use of mother tongue in Bulgaria is a constitutional right of every person, but proficiency in the language of teaching is a prerequisite for successful schooling and a sign of high social intelligence. The home language – Roma or Turkish is often the only language that the child knows at school entry. This makes its adaptation to the educational environment because it will not make speech communication with teachers and other students who are not carriers of this language. The introduction of compulsory training one year before the beginning of schooling regulated in addition to the Education Act 2002 does not give satisfactory results because of the parents didn’t send their children in the preparatory group or class. On the other hand, despite the increased number of Bulgarian language classes for children from linguistic minorities, the program is not supported by special methods, tailored to the specifics of different mother tongues.These and many other reasons led to a stressful start and followed the teaching and psychologically difficult that with respect to Roma children have serious conditions for dropping out of school sometimes even after the end of primary school or before completion of secondary education which is compulsory in Bulgaria.
  • In Serbia training at school may be conducted in minority languages, which is regulated by the Law on Primary Education, Secondary Education Act and the Law for Textbooks.
  • - In Bulgaria since 2004. has formally adopted the Strategy for Educational Integration of Children and Students from Ethnic Minorities, which was updated in 2010. and in Serbia no such document.


Roma are the second largest minority group in Bulgaria and official figures are around 325,000, making 4.9% of the population, but unofficial data (NGOs and international organizations say that they reach to one million). 11.8% of Roma in Bulgaria according to the census of 2011 were identified as illiterate. 23.2% of Roma children aged 7 to 15 years not attending school. There are schools in which 100% of pupils were Roma and quality of education in them is very bad. A high percentage of those who attend school and leaving for 12-13 years (in the fifth or sixth grade).Actions that have been taken to support the efforts of the educational authorities to prevent drop-out of pupils from school through the National Programme, entitled: With care for every pupil” and the project:Without a bell" have resulted in significant decrease in the number of the dropping out pupils. The number in 2000 amounted to 20,8 %, and by contrast in 2009 it was 14,7 %.
Roma are the youngest population in Serbia. 32% of them are aged under 14 years and 41% - up to 20 years. According to the 2002 census in Serbia about 63% of Roma are without basic education, 27% had primary education, 8% average and only about 1% have university or college education. Illiterates are about 26%, of which 15% aged between 15 and 19 years. About 80% of Roma are functionally illiterate. In Serbia, more than 40% of Roma children are included in primary education and only 2% in pre-school. According to the Ministry of Education during the academic year 2002/2003 of 82 800 Roma children (unofficial data), only 17,323 have been covered in the school, which is 4.02% of total population. According the same source in 2003 about 65 500 students of Roma origin have been out of school. According to the Ministry tests after three years at school about 50% of Roma children are taught basic concepts of mathematics.


  • In both countries there are problems with coverage of Roma children in preschool and school institutions.
  • In both countries, the percentage of unsaved and early drop-outs is much higher compared with children from other minority groups.
  • In both countries, the percentage of Roma with secondary and especially higher education is very low


Although approved by the Ministry of Education curricula to study their mother language from class I to VIII to the present no current textbooks in the mother tongue. There are two ABC books – for the Roma and Turkish languages They were produced before more than 10 years.
For Turkish language utilizes educational literature available on an international convention with Turkey. Recent books have been issued in the country in 1992
For teaching Hebrew has a full range of textbooks supplied by Israel.
Language policy in the Bulgarian school focuses on learning the official language and neglects mother tongues.

Official textbooks are prepared and printed in a specialized publisher - Institute for textbooks and secondary literature of the Republic of Serbia. Its branch in Belgrade issued textbooks in Albanian, Turkish and Bulgarian languages, and the branch in Novi Sad is specialized in textbooks Hungarian Slovak, Romanian and Romany. Additional materials and textbooks in the languages provided by the states that have signed international agreements such as Bulgaria and Romania. Significant role in supporting education in mother tongue has textbook "Guidance on the language." It is written in Serbian language, but is intended for students from minority groups. To help students of each minority group is prepared textbook "Additional material for lessons on the subject Mother tongue with elements of national culture." [8]
"Drugarche" is a children's magazine with a long tradition for the younger-Bulgarians. Its program is fully aligned with the curriculum from grade I to VIII. Literary texts published in "Drugarche" play a key role in expanding wealth dictionary; help improve thinking and speech students. Magazine editors devote greater attention to the students themselves. In the section "Our Schools" students learn the news from schools – the success of the pupils and their teachers, news of the celebration of the patron and other public holidays. Section "Getting Started" is intended to students themselves and her magazines. It may be read free good essays and poems, riddles, written reports from them. Editorial publishes Serbian and Bulgarian authors. Children's magazine published six times a year and distributed in primary schools in Bosilegrad, Dimitrovgrad / Tsaribrod, Elementary school in the village Zvontsi (municipality Babushnitsa) and schools and villages Klisura Bozhitsa (Surdulishka municipality), in other words - in schools where children are studying Bulgarian as their mother tongue.


  • The situation in the two neighboring countries is quite different, because in Bulgaria training school is conducted in the official language - Bulgarian and Serbia's minority students have a choice between Serbian and mother tongue. This determines the differences associated with the publication of textbooks.
  • It is important to note that in Bulgaria there are serious gaps in the publication of textbooks for teaching the mother tongues of students from ethnic minorities.


After 1989. and changes in legislation are beginning to realize various activities in training practitioners teachers in multicultural school and kindergarten in the projects carried out jointly with universities.
Universities in the curricula of teacher educators in the majors undergraduate and graduate programs introduce new subjects or modules related to teaching and management of socio-cultural diversity.
They established several special master's programs in Intercultural Education. Provides training to teaching assistants to facilitate the adaptation of school students and Roma teacher assistants and teachers working with Roma pupils. In philological faculties increased in subjects taking "Turkish Studies", "Russian and Turkish," "Applied Linguistics", "Armenian Studies". In University of Veliko Tarnovo were prepared Teachers for Elementary school with Roma mother language.7
Initial training for teaching in minority languages is organized in different ways. For Teacher in pre-schools are provided special two-year programs after completion of secondary education in specialized educational institutions. Teachers who will teach children in school train in university and they can teach on minority languages, if they belong to a linguistic minority and have completed natural or social science in serbian language.
These students can learn their minority language and in the philological disciplines in universities.
There are state agreements for the reception and training of minority students in countries where this language is the official (national) [8]


Difficulties in working in a multicultural environment in Bulgaria are linked on the one hand the lack of basic initial training and subsequent qualification and specialization of working teachers who can not cope with the didactic difficulties of students in mastering the material when they are not proficient in the official language of which is the training, often absent from school and have no motivation for tackling the gaps and deficiencies in knowledge and have deficient social skills.
Despite numerous opportunities for further training especially in the line of educational projects, their effects on increases of pedagogical competence to work in a multicultural environment is almost invisible in Bulgaria.
On the other hand Bulgaria has no formal policies to promote educational innovation in managing multicultural environment. Second comes the lack of specific training of future teachers in technology and methods for working with children of different socio-cultural background, and in ethno-psychology and theories of cultural differentiation.
In Serbia all is governed by laws and other regulations. The problem, however, is how effectively to exercise the rights of minorities. When it comes to education must be noted that currently there is no common measure to regulate education. Each level of education is governed by the relevant law. There is a Law on social protection of children from preschool education, Law for primary education, Law for Secondary Schools, The Higher Education Act for Unisersity and special Law on teachers' faculties.
For various reasons many years the social and material status of teachers is poor. This led to a loss of interest in teaching profession and pedagogical faculties now saved mediocre students as excellent students choose management, medicine and electronics. As in Bulgaria, and in Serbia there is no specific preparation for future teachers in technology and methods for working with children of different socio-cultural backgrounds. Furthermore, most teachers in the pedagogical departments are very old and do not care about new technologies. Very rarely they use computers and other modern educational technologies.
Urgent reforms are necessary in the preparation and development of teachers.
Different groups of minorities should be allowed to choose certain subjects connected to their life and future career orientation.
Good news is that the Ministry of Education support initial training on assistant-teachers, who know Roma language to help Roma pupils to participate in educational-teaching process.


- The curricula of teachers subjects to include a compulsory course, related to educational integration and intercultural education, preparing future teachers to work in a multicultural educational environment so intercultural competence can be regarded as part of the basic skills of the teacher;
- In the central part of Serbia to reveal subjects for training teachers in training for minority languages, including to disclose to the Teachers' School in the town of Vranje to prepare teachers for training in Bulgarian language]
- To establish university centers for intercultural dialogue;
- Create a database of teachers who have proven competence to train teachers to work in a multicultural environment;
- Develop criteria and standards for conducting qualification activities for teachers to work in a multicultural environment;
- Develop database of recommended literature, teaching materials and practices;
- Establish a professional network of teachers who work innovative in multicultural schools.


Ministry of Education and Science should direct their attention to the preparation of future teachers and the qualifications of workers towards the enrichment of knowledge and developing skills for working in a multicultural classroom and school.
Opening of borders and globalization expand the educational market and children from traditional for Bulgaria ethnic, linguistic and religious minorities in school are added with children to the permanent and temporary resident aliens for effective educational work which require further preparation by the teachers.
At the beginning of XXI century Bulgarian school still can not meet the challenges of a multicultural world. Despite occasional attempts to change curricula, programs and curriculum, students receive thorough preparation in order to realize fully in terms of socio-cultural diversity. The majority of teachers have not received specialized training or qualifications in teaching, management and support of diversity.
Good opportunity to get out of this situation is to discuss the draft on the new law for pre-school and school education that can provide the legal framework of the amendment and to regulate the new intercultural philosophical methodology..
Minority policy requires a full range of political and legal documents. Mechanisms for protection of constitutional rights and those rights of ethnic communities that are guaranteed by law, the weakest point in the protection of minorities in Serbia. Furthermore, it should be noted:
- Lack of a clear minority policy adjustment in the status and protection of minorities, according to contemporary political conditions;
- An intermediate distance, and clashes between republican and rural centers of economic and political power, leading to confusion, encouraging doubt and reduce the already poor reputation of power and its influence on the situation of the minority;
- Maintenance and re-strengthening of ethno-nationalist and centralist tendencies in politics, culture and consciousness of the majority of Serbian citizens, which further complicates the regulatory protection of minorities.[6]

Protection of national minorities in Serbia is still under construction. The cornerstone has long been complicated, but the problems facing Serbian society, especially the status of the southern suburb Kosovo and Metohija is a major obstacle. Future constitutional reform, which increasingly is spoken, it will show to what country people want to live in Serbia.
Studies show that minorities are agree to join the European cultural integration. The majority is at a crossroads, some want to join the EU, while others are in a position to maintain status by expanding economic and political ties with other countries. Unfortunately, some of the social and intellectual elite in Serbia formed the view according to which minorities are one necessary evil in this sense, they should recognize only the minimum rights that are sufficient to not cause unwanted attention the international community [2].Such is the opinion of Dusan Janjic, who believes that "relations between majorities and minorities in Serbia are relations of confrontation, which largely contribute to inappropriate 'institutional engineering' that prompted the emergence of negative reactions of minorities."
There is no doubt that building a democratic minority policy will be a long process, especially when changing habits and attitudes. Finally, we will assume the position of Dusan Janjic, which takes nine principles on the basis of which could build democratic sense of the state and national identity:
- Respect for the identity and differentiation balance between human rights and freedoms of the individual and minority rights, and eliminating existing restrictions on ethnic rights and freedoms (eg citizenship).
- The minority should recognize the right of the political entity which has expressed the will of the minority voters during the elections at all levels. Also weave must respect minority collective rights in education, culture, information and official use of language.
- Separation of power between majority and minority, starting from the principle of decentralization and moving to create different types of coalition to enable minorities to manage their affairs in various forms of autonomy and regionalism. It is within the same territorial autonomy co-exists and other types of autonomy above all cultural, regional or called special status. Autonomy is limited sovereignty and compromise between two legitimate and recognized in international law postulates: the right of the ethnic community self-identify and respect for state sovereignty and territorial integrity. Autonomy and expressed confidence the country to members of national minorities, which allows managing themselves and the state to assume political responsibility juridical and material for their activities.
- Modernization, i.e. construction of ethnic loyalty by the standards of democratic society and the standards and social principles that are relevant in the new millennium.
- Legal regulation of minority rights and establishing an effective mechanism for protection of minority rights (consociational democracy, Minority Government, Ombudsman, Ministry of Human Rights and National Minorities, including revision of the electoral law).
- Considering that the protection of minorities, primarily a political issue, it is dependent on the balance of political forces. These relations can not be created by "trading" of votes, and to include contracts which are not covered by the rules of political behavior, and joint policy goals.
- The Serbian authorities should urgently take the following steps to prevent the ongoing "territorialization" of minority claims and unproductive "internationalization" and the Serbian government should start with development of a National Strategy for the democratic minority policy in Serbia, based on to be held and legislative reforms in the field of minority protection. This requires in Republican legislation to include former Federal laws to take the amendments or, better yet, to vote Republican minority law, and review of the other laws.
- It is necessary to review the case for the establishment and work of national councils for them to vote a special law.
- It is the Council of Ministers, within the required reconstruction to form a Ministry for Human Rights and Minority Rights, which would assume responsibility for minority law reforms and the restoration and revival of the institution "minority policy". [6]
Crossroads, which are minorities in the third millennium, is conditioned on the one hand, the global social changes, which is why multiculturalism is the lever for development, on the other hand, the excessive insistence on preserving the ethnocultural differences that a barrier to the desire for unification and universalization of the values.

  1. Актуализирана Стратегия за образователна интеграция на децата и учениците от етническите малцинства, С., 2010, www.minedu.government.bg
  2. Башић, Г. (2005), Националне мањине у Србији, Права мањина, Ниш, ОГИ.
  3. Закон за народната просвета. Обн., ДВ, бр. 86 от 18.10.1991
  4. Закона за степента, общообразователния минимум и учебния план Обн. ДВ. бр. 67 от 27 Юли 1999
  5. Закон о основама система образовања и васпитања,
  6. Јањић, Д. (2005), О новој, демократској мањинској политици, Права мањина, Ниш ОГИ.
  7. Конституция на Република България, приета на 12 юли 1991
  8. Културна идентичност и интеркултурно взаимодействие в мултиетничното училище. Съст. и ред. Калина Бозева. С., 2010
  9. Малцинствата в България. Изд. на НСЕДВ към МС. С., 2003
  10. Нунев, Й. Мениджмънт на етнокултурното разнообразие в образованието. С., 2009
  11. Сачкова, Е. От образование на малцинства към интеркултурно образование. В сб.: Интеркултурното образование в България – идеал и реалност. С., 1999
  12. Стратегия за образователна интеграция на децата и учениците от етническите малцинства, С., 2004, www.minedu.government.bg
  13. Устав Републике Србије, приет на 8 ноември 2006 г.

1 The data is taken from NSI census from 2011 http://www.nsi.bg/EPDOCS/Census2011final.pdf

2 In Bosilegrad, one of the 10 poorest municipalities in Serbia, the population has shrunk with almost 1/5 between the last two cencuses. According to the Republican Statistical Institute the population has shrunk with 1.952 people, or 19,7 %. Today, an average family in Bosilegrad consists of 2,8 members. Now in Bosilegrad municipality live 8.571 people. According to the last census (2011) there are 10 562 living in Dimitrovgrad municipalilty. Ten years ago the population of the municipality was 11 748.

3 The national minority councils in Serbia serve the purpouse to ensure the minoritiest rights in the field of culture, education, information and the official use of the language and writing. The set up of the national councils as a form of minority self-government is included in the Serbian juridical system in 2002. There are 20 different minorities that have their council. The natonal council of the Bulgarian minority consists of 23 people. Zoran Petrov is the president of the council.

4 The National Council of the Bulgarian natinonal minority in Serbia took over the rights of the newspaper of the Bulgarians in Serbia called “Bratstvo”. Besides the weekly newspaper the publisher ptints also the children magazine “Drugarche” and the culture magazine called “Most”. Unfortunately, due to financial problems, the publisher of the Bulgarians in Nis, may soon stop working.

5 Like most countries in the world this is precisely one of the key problems of Serbia - there are laws and regulations, but shall not apply.

6 In Serbia in official use are 11 languages - 7 in the autonomous province of Vojvodina (Serbian, Croatian, Romanian, Russinian, Hungarian, Slovak and Czech) and four in Central Serbia (Serbian, Bosnian, Albanian and Bulgarian).

7 For more information see: Тоцева, Я. Подготовката на учителите в България за работа в мултикултурна среда – минало, настояще и нови предизвикателства. В сб. Есенен научно-образователен форум: Учителят – призвание, компетентност , признание, С., 2011, стр. 363-373