In Bulgaria, education is compulsory between ages 7 to 16 and free in state owned schools. The ministry of education has prescribed an evolving academic curriculum throughout, consisting of Bulgarian (language and literature), foreign languages, information technologies, maths, natural sciences, social sciences & civics, physical education and sport. Children must attend a one-year pre-school program before embarking on 4 years of primary school.
The final 4 years of elementary education take place at junior high school, where a certificate of elementary education must be obtained before proceeding further at any Bulgarian school.
There are two secondary education alternatives, namely comprehensive high schools and vocational schools. Pupils must remain at least until age 16. When graduating from the former they must take examinations in Bulgarian, and another subject of their choice.
Vocational training outside the school system suffers from a high degree of centralization but is currently being reformed. Primary impediments include the absence of an integrated framework, and the capacity of an institutionalized system.
Higher education facilities include specialized higher schools, colleges and universities. At universities, undergraduate programs take at least 4 years to complete, and may be complemented by masters degrees and even doctorates. The oldest university was founded in 1888 and is known fully as the Saint Clement of Ohrid University of Sofia.
The main edifice depicted here was paid for by 2 brothers, whose faces appear on its facade.