According to a report published on the European Commission’s website, in Bulgaria the skills of graduates, vocational education and training are not sufficient enough for the labour market needs, while Bulgarian students are at the bottom of the ranking in terms of reading, mathematics and sciences.

Twice below the average level of the EU is the knowledge base of 40 percent of our students in mathematics, reading and science. Grade A get Estonia and Finland.

At the same time, the number of early leavers has decreased for the first time since 2011, but remains above the European average.

The Ministry of Education says the results of the new programmes will be taken into account in the next study.

While we are waiting for the results, our graduates do not yet meet the needs of business. According to the Director of the Professional School for Electrotechnics and Automation, the step forwards was made with the dual education.

The Commission recognises that reforms are being implemented in Bulgaria at all levels of education, focusing on reducing early school leavers, increasing teachers’ salaries, introducing dual education, improving digital skills and increasing inclusive education.

However, the Commission notes that “these measures do not match the size of the challenges”.

“In Bulgaria, usually investments in pre-school and primary education are small – areas that are key to equal start-up in life and to prevent future inequalities later,” the experts note, saying the financing model was revised to allocate additional resources to disadvantaged schools.

The crisis in Bulgarian education has also been observed in the knowledge of foreign languages. English is used by about 15 percent of the population, reveals Eurobarometer data.

The public spending on educations in Bulgaria decreased in real terms by 9.1 percent in 2016. The money that comes into pre-school and primary education institutions is particularly low.

This trend is not unique to Bulgaria, but in our country the consequences are more pronounced. Many EU countries still invest in education less than before the economic crisis and thirteen Member States actually spend less money in the sector.