Interview with Natalia Yaroslavskaya
Director of the Bulgarian Theoretical Lyceum "Vasil Levski"
Mrs. Yaroslavskaya, we are on the eve of a tragic date in Bulgarian history - February 19, when mother Bulgaria loses her eldest son - Vasil Levski. This year marks the 146 years of his heroic death. Tell us how you celebrate this day at the Bulgarian Lyceum in Chisinau!
This day, in our view, includes tragic and life-affirming beginnings.
The February 19 school tradition in memory of Vasil Levski involves holding a Leo Leap sports competition for boys in grades I through XII. The elementary school boys all participate. And the middle and upper class students are divided into three subgroups: 5 - 6; 7's - 9's; 10 - 12 class. The competition is run on the Olympic system, you lose - you leave. The best guys are awarded diplomas and the best scores are recorded in the high school record table.
Also, every year, on the anniversary of Vasil Levski's hanging, thematic classes are held by the class teacher, a celebration with the participation of all students, teachers and guests (representatives of the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in the Republic of Moldova, representatives of companies and organizations of Bulgarians in Bulgaria). Moldova and others).
Then there is another exciting tradition for us - offering flowers and wreaths to the bas-relief of Vasil Levski.
You have been the lyceum director for the third year. Before assuming the "reins" of the Bulgarian school figuratively, you worked in it as a teacher and as a deputy director. Tell us whether the name of the Apostle of Liberty somehow obliges you, the teaching staff, the students, most of whom, I suppose, are of Bulgarian origin!
We are proud that our school bears the name of the Apostle of Liberty and that we are heirs to this great Bulgarian. For us, Levski is a banner, a symbol of honesty, modesty, kindness, sacrifice, dignity and pride. In our opinion, Vasil Levski was part of a small galaxy of people who knew each other and fought for the same thing. Likewise, we, the workers and students at this lyceum, are fighting for the same thing that drives us forward in the realization of our dreams.
And do you know how great it is to have children understand that their teachers value them for the good they have done. Because it stimulates them to be much more active, to continue to do good deeds, and this is something that the whole society needs.
Too often we quote Vasil Levski, too often we take him as an example. I would be very pleased if we could at least get a little involved in his tolerance, honesty, dedication, foresight. Let's unite our energy to move forward!
# our roots
In the ideas of the Bulgarians of the XNUMXth century, a goblin is "an evil spirit that appears as a shadow at night on large buildings." The goblins walk until the roosters sing. In the ideas of the Bulgarians of the XNUMXth century, a goblin is an "evil spirit that appears as a shadow at night on large buildings" ....
In connection with the previous question, I would like to ask you what is the mission of the school you lead? I am referring to the fact that the Bulgarian Theory Lyceum "Vasil Levski" is not only an educational institution.
Yes, really Vasil Levski BTL is not only an educational institution, but also a social and cultural center for the Bulgarian community in Chisinau, which maintains national traditions and spirit for several generations of Bulgarians. For 22 years this is a good, warm, cozy Bulgarian home in which they are happy to learn and enjoy teaching. Our school, though far from its ancestral home, fulfills the responsible mission of being an island of spirituality in today's fast-paced and globalized world. Everything is done to improve the working conditions of teachers and to improve the quality of students' education. Work is being done to promote the Bulgarian Theory Lyceum "Vasil Levski" among other schools as a cultural, educational and spiritual center and a leading institution in the preservation and promotion of the Bulgarian language and literature, history, traditions and folklore in the capital of the Republic of Moldova. - the city of Chisinau.
Tell us more about the Bulgarian Lyceum! How do you motivate your students to study Bulgarian language and literature, Bulgarian history, to keep Bulgarian traditions alive?
BTL "Vasil Levski" was created with a lot of love for everything Bulgarian and native. Parents and teachers have a strong desire for children to touch the Bulgarian way of life, culture, traditions, language and history, and therefore we have joined forces to enable more Bulgarian children living in the capital of the Republic of Moldova to retain in their hearts the spirit of Bulgaria.
Currently, 330 students are taught in the Lyceum in 19 classes: preparatory class and grades from first to twelfth. For the past twenty-two years, half of the graduates of lyceum, ie about 250 students, have successfully continued their education at higher education institutions in Bulgaria. The base at which the school is located is built with the help of patriotic Bulgarians, parents and auxiliaries. In the last nine academic years, projects in the National Program “Native Language and Culture Abroad” at the Ministry of Education and Science in the Republic of Bulgaria have been implemented in the Lyceum. They help to provide the educational process with educational literature on Bulgarian language, history and geography of Bulgaria, music.
The school employs 40 highly qualified teachers and educators. Throughout the lifetime of the Lyceum, seconded teachers from the Ministry of Education and Science in the Republic of Bulgaria play an important role. Educators support the development of the intellectual and creative potential of students who have won prizes at the Republican Olympiad in Bulgarian language and literature, in international and national literary and musical competitions, in individual musical appearances and in extracurricular forms of Bulgarian musical folklore. The traditions of Christmas, Lazarovden, Easter and others are popularized.
The administration, together with teachers, students, parents and well-wishers, makes the school a desirable place, a second home and an inexhaustible source of knowledge, inspiration and faith in the future. The basis of this belief is based on the following goals, which we successfully accomplish with common efforts: promotion of the Bulgarian cultural and historical heritage and folklore, as well as the contemporary cultural achievements of the Bulgarians; forming a positive attitude towards the Bulgarian cultural values and especially towards the Bulgarian folklore and traditions; enhancing students' intrinsic motivation to preserve Bulgarian self-awareness, mother tongue and love for Bulgarian roots; using a variety of resources to enhance the quality of the educational process, motivation and student outcomes.
What difficulties do you face in the work process and how do you solve the problems?
Unfortunately, our school is experiencing difficulties, as are all other educational institutions on the territory of the Republic of Moldova. It is not only about financial difficulties, but also about the existence of the Lyceum as a whole. Each year, the most stressful year for me personally is the end of spring and summer, when we have to sign our individual curricula. We need to explain in all educational institutions that our school is necessary for the children of Bulgarians living in Chisinau who want to learn their native language and the history of their people. According to the Education Code, we are not allowed to have a preparatory class and this is also a problem that we face every year.
Just as we struggle to open the preparatory class every year, we also face the problem of opening high school classes. Just as the children from Chisinau study from 1 to 9 class, so do children from other settlements in Moldova want to enroll and study in the Lyceum in order to continue learning their native language in order to continue their education in the higher education institutions of the Republic of Bulgaria. And here another problem arises. There is no dormitory for students coming from the countryside. It is very difficult to resolve these issues, but we do not give up. Next school year, we will fight for our Lyceum in the same way.
As for the financial side, there are also problems here. We are constantly seeking the help of sponsors. We really need the technical equipment: computers, projectors, etc. We would like to have a computer in every classroom to improve the quality of teaching and learning so that the lyceum teachers can prepare for the next lessons on the spot and not get home work.
Despite insufficient financial resources, we were able to realize, with the direct assistance of the Rousse-Danube Rotary Club, the project for the construction of a playground in the school yard that we dreamed of during the 20 years of our existence.
As an institution manager, you have an obligation to anticipate the processes ahead. What is your vision for the development of Lyceum and what are the helpers in its implementation?
We all understand that the development of the Lyceum depends not only on the leader, but also on all participants in the educational process. These are teachers, parents and students without whom the lyceum cannot exist. And to some extent it also depends on the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in the Republic of Moldova, organizations and companies for Bulgarians in Moldova.
One of the main tasks facing us is to get the Republican status to pass directly to the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research in the Republic of Moldova. This will allow easy opening of the Lyceum classes, as well as providing a dormitory for the students from the countryside, as well as a simplified procedure for approving the individual curricula.
This idea has been around for a long time. The very first director Vasily Spiridonovich Stoyanov started the process of changing the status of the Lyceum, but things didn't work out and stopped. We will try again and do our best to reach the common goal.
For the further development of the lyceum, I consider it necessary to draw up curricula in the Bulgarian language in the following disciplines: music, fine arts, vocational training and science. In this way, we will reinforce the importance of the only Bulgarian theoretical lyceum in the territory of the Republic of Moldova. The most important thing in the development of lyceum, of course, is the cooperation between teachers, parents and students. Also, the cooperation with similar educational institutions from the Republic of Bulgaria and with Bulgarian schools in Europe, named after Vasil Levski, in order to exchange experiences and opportunities for mutual visits.
Could you give more information about the realization of the graduates of the Lyceum after its completion?
As noted, almost half of our graduates have completed higher education in Bulgaria, which is a source of pride. The other half successfully graduated from the Universities of Moldova, Russia and have an excellent track record. Many of our students have achieved high results in various fields, are known both in Moldova and abroad, and praise their Alma Mater - the Bulgarian Lyceum "Vasil Levski" in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova. These are architects, scientists, businessmen, police officers, heads of charitable foundations, psychologists and more.
Which students are proud of the Bulgarian school?
Alona Berkach - creator and director of the charity Save the Life;
Oksana Volkova - Managing Partner - Bulgaria House Ltd.
Arina Telpiz - WizzAir flight attendant.
Cyril Zmurchuk - a Moldovan brewer who has won various awards abroad.
Tatiana Plavans - internationally-based architect and designer.
Arina Yakina - designer of accessories and more.
Finally, what thought do you like and would turn into your credo?
Vasil Levski is a huge personality. He is one of those who move society forward. The apostle of liberty dreamed boldly, spoke briefly, but did so with impatient patience and perseverance. Levski was convinced that "Deeds are needed, not words!" I would turn those words into my credo.
Ms. Yaroslavskaya, thank you for the interview!
And I thank you for your interest in our lyceum!
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