Access to education

Bulgaria

Country Report: Access to education Last updated: 30/11/20

Author

Bulgarian Helsinki Committee Visit Website

Access to education for asylum-seeking children is provided explicitly in national legislation without an age limit.[1] The provision not only guarantees full access to free of charge education in regular schools, but also to vocational training under the rules and conditions applicable to Bulgarian children.

In practice there are some obstacles related to the methodology used to identify the particular school grade that the child should be directed to, but this problem should be solved by the appointment of special commissions by the Educational Inspectorate with the Ministry of Education and Science.

No preparatory classes are offered to facilitate access to the national education system except those organised by NGO volunteers. In 2019 the Red Cross organised licensed trainings in Bulgarian language to 50 people at their Information Centre in Sofia as well as in Harmanli and Banya centers. Similar language trainings were provided by Caritas to asylum seekers and recognised refugees and subsidiary protection holders in their Integration Centre in Sofia, tailored in groups for adults, children, mothers with children, employed individuals, etc.

Asylum-seeking children with special needs do not enjoy alternative arrangements other than those provided for Bulgarian children.[2]

Moreover, asylum-seeking children may be detained in closed reception centres or facilities following the detention of their parents.[3] This could deprive children of their right to education as accommodation in closed centres would effectively prevent them from accessing education, unless arrangements are put in place to secure their transportation to the public schools. No practice is yet applied in this respect.

Adult refugees and asylum seekers have a right to a vocational training. Practical obstacles may be encountered by asylum seekers in relation to access to universities as they have difficulties to prove diplomas already acquired in their respective countries of origin. This is due to a lack of relevant information on diplomas.

 


[1] Article 26(1) LAR.

[2] National Integration Plan for Children with Special Needs and/or Chronic Illness, adopted with Council of Ministers Ordinance No 6, 19 August 2002.

[3]  Article 45e LAR.

 

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation