A petition has gathered more than 20,0000 signatures in support of educational mediators

For more information: Deyan Kolev, 062-600-224

Over 20,000 Bulgarian citizens from 142 settlements throughout the country signed a petition for the preservation of educational mediators. Another 1,253 joined an online petition with the same title. They are addressed to the Minister of Education and Science Prof. Sasho Penov and to the Prime Minister Galab Donev, with a copy to the Ombudsman of the Republic of Bulgaria Prof. Kovacheva. The signatures were collected during the period 18.04. – 03.05. from Amalipe Center, educational mediators and teachers throughout the country.

In both signatures, the citizens make their demands: “We insist that you do what is necessary to preserve the employment of the educational mediators who work under the National Program “Support for Educational Mediators and Social Workers”, as well as under the Project “Active Inclusion in the Preschool Education System” after 01.07.2023 – so that the currently working mediators and social workers keep their jobs, and where necessary, more are hired! We also insist that you find a way for the salaries of mediators working in schools and kindergartens to be covered by the National Budget, without the need for them to worry every 6 months or 1 year about whether their employment will be continued! Furthermore, we demand that the pay for these positions be increased to above minimum wage!”

Along with the attached signatures is a letter to 60 non-governmental organizations and all social partners in education to ensure sustainability in the funding of educational mediators and, in particular, to continue the National Program for the Support of Educational Mediators. This letter is also addressed to the Minister of Education and Science Prof. Sasho Penov and to the Prime Minister Galab Donev. It was initiated by the Amalipe Center and is supported by the social partners in education: employers’ unions (Union of Employers in the Public Education System in Bulgaria and Association of Directors in Secondary Education in the Republic of Bulgaria) and teachers’ unions (Union of Bulgarian Teachers at Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria and Trade Union “Education” to Confederation of Labour “Support”). It is also supported by 60 other non-governmental organizations operating throughout the country. Among them are the National Network for Children (uniting over 140 organizations), the “Tеach for Bulgaria” Foundation, the National Network of Health Mediators, the main Roma, pro-Roma and educational organizations.

The civil action, unprecedented in its nature, was provoked by the intention of the Ministry of Education and Science not to continue from 01.07.2023 The national program to support educational mediators. This would leave at least half (probably more) of the 940 educational mediators and social workers in schools out of a job. Tens of thousands of children would be left uncared for, and the number of school dropouts and early marriages would likely increase significantly. (An Amalipe Center survey of nearly 300 educational mediators indicates that in 2022 they worked with 14,209 low-motivation parents, returned 890 dropouts to classrooms, prevented 2,800 dropouts, resolved 240 endangerment cases from an early marriage).

You can see more about the results of the mediators’ work here..

In a special announcement, the Amalipe Center examined in detail the possibilities offered by the Ministry of Education and Science and the likelihood that they will cover the payment of mediators after 01 July 2023, since in view of the intention not to continue the National Program for the Support of Educational Mediators, the Ministry of Education and Science makes arguments that are wholly or partially false.

This map visualizes a large part of the settlements from which signatures were received in support of the educational mediators:

Press conference from May 9, BTA:

See more:

How can educational mediators stay employed – key statements

Center Amalipe starts collecting signatures in the Petition for the Preservation of Educational Mediators!

What are the possible solutions for educational mediators after 01.07.2023?