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Bulgarian students rank last in the EU in mathematics, and in reading - penultimate in reading. This is evidenced by the results for Bulgaria of international assessment of students – PISA.

In mathematics they have 417 points, which is 19 points less than in 2018. In reading, the points are 404, with a drop of 16, and in natural sciences the points of our country are three less than in 2018.

54% of Bulgarian ninth graders are below the critical minimum of knowledge and skills in mathematics, 53% of them do not have elementary reading skills, and 48% of them have drastic deficits in natural sciences, according to the results, which are close to the levels of 2006.

Excellent students in mathematics are Singapore, China, Japan, Korea and Estonia. In reading, Singapore is at the top, followed by Ireland and Japan. The survey was conducted among 15-year-old students in nearly 80 countries around the world by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. In Bulgaria, it was held in March and April last year and covered over 6100,200 students from over <> schools across the country.

The topic of poor quality of education in Bulgaria and the low results of students commented on the air of Darik Lyuba Yordanova from Teach For Bulgaria and Tanya Velichkova - teacher and longtime journalist and host of the "Horizon" program of the state radio.

"PISA is a programme of international student assessment. It is held every 3 years and is a criterion for whether countries prepare their students to develop skills that they will need later in life, "explained Lyuba Yordanova.

More than half of Bulgarian students are not adequate to solve everyday problems

"The tests measure the state of the whole system, but this study also shows inequalities between schools. I had the opportunity to include my students in another study on reading literacy and was able to see how unsatisfactory the results were. One of the questions in the poll was "How many books do you have at home?" A large part of my students replied, unfortunately, that they have less than five books at home, "said Tanya Velichkova.

"In PISA, too, there is such a questionnaire that examines the environment in which students live. Bulgaria is one of the countries with the biggest educational inequalities in the world. They depend on where the child was born, in what locality, what are the capabilities of the parents and in what school he studies. There are very few students who participate in the Olympics and bring medals. This is exactly what PISA shows us - that there is a huge difference between children who score high and those who have low scores. This is a very important conclusion that we need to take into account and the PISA data to help us close this scissors, "said Lyuba Yordanova.

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People have reason to blame teachers because they are responsible for what happens in the classroom, but education is a community. Any skill that is missing in a class must be taught. In order to have these skills, we need to put them in focus. We need to build the process in the classroom so that it prepares the children for life, if that's what we're aiming for. There are wonderful ways to support and accompany teachers so that children can have good results. Doing a good education is really a common job," Velichkova said.

"Teachers are the most important factor for students' success, but they also need to be prepared. Currently, a large number of teachers do not have training either as basic training or as practical training. The teaching profession is a profession that constantly needs to be upgraded. Every year, millions are poured into additional teacher training, but their quality is not monitored and this money goes to waste, "Lyuba noted.

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