Narodni Buditeli School
The Narodni Buditeli 144 School in Sofia, Bulgaria, has 1244 students aged between 5 and 19, and employs 129 highly qualified teachers. The school covers the three stages of formal education in Bulgaria: primary school, junior high school and high school.
The school staff has broad experience in various national and European projects. The school has two certificates of quality in different Comenius programmes and several e-Twinning awards.
The Narodni Buditeli Comprehensive 144 School faces a number of inclusion challenges due to the diversity of its student population: children from traditional families and from mixed marriages, orphans, children from disadvantaged groups, children with different disabilities and special needs, as well as children from different minority groups. Most crucially, the school has students from different religious and ethnic backgrounds. The most prominent minorities in the school population are Bulgarian Turks, who are mostly Muslim and Turkish-speaking, and Bulgarian Roma.
The inclusion of Roma children is proving to be especially challenging, as most come from families with low educational status that do not attribute significant value to education themselves. Additionally, many of the Roma students cannot speak Bulgarian well. These aspects, along with the relatively young average age of marriage among Roma people, tend to lead to early school abandonment. Social inclusion is vital for these children and for their parents because only through education can they improve their quality of life, have better opportunities for personal development and self-growth, and have less overall dependence on social welfare.
Marusia Nikolaeva is an IT teacher at the school. She manages the school's website and is the Chairman of the School's Commission for Teacher Qualification. She has participated in many national and international programmes and projects, and continues to do so. The most recent learning initiative she and her students have undertaken is "How do we help people?", focused on developing civil awareness in young people. Mrs. Nikolaeva takes part in the sharing of good practices at the school. She was awarded the school's Teacher of the Year prize in 2019.
Tsvetelina Georgieva graduated in Political Science in 2002. After having worked as a consultant in the field of Political Marketing for 10 years, she decided to switch her professional orientation and graduated as an English Language Teacher. After that, she achieved a Master's Degree in the Pedagogy of Deviant Behavior. She has been teaching English at the school since 2003, and since 2016 has been acting as a School Counselor. In 2017 she attended an Erasmus+ course in Helsinki, Finland, on early school living and in 2018 another Erasmus+ course on anti-bullying in Southampton, UK. She has participated in several Erasmus+ projects under KA2 actions. Her professional interests are developing students’ foreign language communication skills, the problems of students with deviant behaviour, and inclusion of children with special needs.