University of Librarian Studies and Information Technologies (BULGARIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN20 Proceedings
Publication year: 2020
Pages: 7504-7509
ISBN: 978-84-09-17979-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2020.1905
Conference name: 12th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-7 July, 2020
Location: Online Conference
Some ethnic communities in Bulgaria are re-formulating or rethinking questions about their own identities and, on this basis, realizing their cultural identity and emancipation. These processes are carried out in the context of economic reform and social transformation, but no strategy is developed to prevent and manage the risks resulting from such crisis situations. This is the reason why the minority communities of Roma in Bulgaria, who represent approximately 15% of the population of the country and which are a significant example of the above processes, are the object of study. The total marginalization of the Roma ethnic group threatens the solution to the problems of minorities, their social and labour inclusion. One of the determining factors for the adaptation of minorities to the rapidly changing environment is education. Education enhances knowledge of cultural belonging through the school - both the formation of an understanding of community and an understanding of the Other's existence. The study focuses on the most important issues that hinder the educational integration of minority ethnic communities in Bulgaria. Sociological data indicate the presence of distinct ethnic characteristics in educational imbalances. A comparative analysis of the educational policy of the various groups of Bulgarian citizens outlines the problems and approaches to their solution. Not many Roma children attend school. Most of the reasons are in the formed ethnic stereotypes - language barrier, migration of Roma families, different value system, ethnic division of students, insufficient knowledge of the ethnic peculiarities of Roma, unpreparedness of teachers to work with children - bilinguals, religion, mutual ignorance of ethnicity.It is important that in such situations the spatial and value isolation of children, their ethnic division, should not be allowed. And this requires higher efficiency of the educational process as a determining tool for different ethnic groups. Bulgaria has gained experience from positive, but also unsuccessful, educational policies such as the Roma Decade Program, whose analysis serves as the basis for new positive actions and measures. Demands for the mass introduction of bilingual Roma education in schools continue to be heard. According to Bulgarian law, teaching foreign languages is completely legitimate. Moreover, it is stimulated as one of the important priorities of the education system. Learning the mother tongue is also seamless and the Turkish minority is a good example in this case. The difficulty is with the Roma minority. The analysis shows that mother tongue education in the Roma minority does not lead to integration, but to further separation. This also shows the need to think about a new Strategy for the educational integration of children and students from ethnic minorities in Bulgaria.
Minorities, education, culture, bilinguals, professional qualification, accessibility, ethnic culture, integration.