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Making school life a central attraction


school girl
© Shutterstock/ZouZou

The local high school in the town of Ihtiman is one among 1 880 Bulgarian schools participating in the ‘Making school more attractive for young people’ operation, which aims to reduce the number of early school leavers by improving employment opportunities and helping social integration among the young.

The Ihtiman school project is doing this by encouraging participation in extra-curricular activities and thus raising the interest and value that pupils place on their time at school. From Ihtiman high school, 17 teachers and 75 pupils are taking part in joint sports and leisure-time activities. Many of the students are from the Roma community which faces particular challenges.

These activities are designed to develop the personal, intellectual and physical abilities of the students – building team-working capacities, improving self-expression and teaching presentation skills. In addition to these ongoing activities, Ihtiman high school has held workshops to promote tolerance among pupils and to boost entrepreneurial attitudes with an eye on their future careers.

The operation ‘Making school more attractive for young people’ started in 2008 and was designed in three phases. It has proved very popular and successful and is to be implemented until 2014 when expected to reach over 330 000 young people across Bulgaria.


Project name: Making school more attractive for young people
Area of activity: Education
Project duration: 2008 – 2014 (three phases)
ESF contribution: €45 479 121
Total budget: €53 504 848
Participants: around 330 000
Country: Bulgaria
Organisation: Ministry of Education, Youth and Science
Contact details: Julia Mineva-Milcheva
+359 2 872 0704