The head of state: The parties that put a new article in the Constitution, according to which education, science and culture are a supreme national value, forgot to change the budget in this direction as well

The President called on the people's representatives to find a solution to the requests of the Council of Rectors either by controlling the caretaker government or by updating the budget

Industry / Bulgaria
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The parties that changed the Constitution and laid down a new article - the 23rd, according to which education, science and culture are the highest national value, forgot or inadvertently omitted to change the budget as well, and this raises doubts about the sincerity of the strong words written in the Constitution. This was stated by President Rumen Radev during a meeting at "Dondukov" 2 with representatives of the Council of Rectors of Higher Schools in Bulgaria on the occasion of the expressed dissatisfaction and declared readiness for protests in the higher education sector. Vice President Iliana Yotova also participated in the meeting.

The dissatisfaction, expressed in a letter from the Council of Rectors to the head of state, is caused by the non-fulfillment of the commitments made by the state, laid down in the changes adopted in the Law on Higher Education, according to which the remuneration of the academic staff of state higher education institutions is fixed in relation to the average gross labor salary for the country. The representatives of the higher schools in our country also point out that in the last three years the funds from the gross domestic product intended for financing the Bulgarian universities have drastically decreased, and the salaries of teachers, assistants, docents and professors are humiliatingly low.

The President expressed his concern about the processes in the sector and recalled that he had repeatedly talked with the managements of higher schools throughout the country about the problems in Bulgarian higher education, as well as about the priorities and prospects before it. The head of state expressed his full support for the demands of the Council of Rectors for decent remuneration and defined education and science as key areas for the development of our country as a modern European country based on democratic principles, which has high technologies in industry and every sphere of the economy and there is accelerated economic growth to achieve a higher standard of living. According to Rumen Radev, there should not be protests, as they would not send a good signal both outside the country and in society.

"Your mission is extremely important and it must be supported by all Bulgarian politicians, regardless of who is in power," said the head of state. He expressed the opinion that the Bulgarian society should stand behind its higher schools, which today work in the competitive environment of the open European educational and scientific market. The president congratulated the rectors for the growing number of scientific publications and citations of native scientists in recent years. According to him, in order for this process to continue to develop, better conditions are needed for doing science in Bulgarian universities. "The strength of a university is not only to provide strong education, but also to develop strong science," the president pointed out.

The head of state emphasized that higher education and science have a key role in efforts to overcome the demographic crisis. "We have wonderful students and young researchers who are in foreign leading universities abroad and make their contribution to other countries", the president pointed out and added that in order to remain employed in science in our country, they must be provided socially and as working and working conditions so that they can devote themselves to their teaching and scientific activities.

President Rumen Radev called on the people's representatives to find a solution to the demands of the Council of Rectors either through control over the official government or through an update of the budget. "I hope that the same parliament that changed the Constitution so that there is parliamentary control and that education, science and culture are the highest national value, will now make sure that the law is implemented," the head of state said. He pointed out that before the constitutional changes regarding the caretaker government, he was able to give a quick response to the requests made, but after the controversial amendments to the basic law, the presidential institution could not guarantee anything, except a call to the caretaker prime minister to prioritize the matter. Rumen Radev congratulated the rectors that they have a united opinion in their demands. "I think that your appeal in the tonality of crescendo and pizzicato will be understood and appreciated by our politicians," the head of state also pointed out.

Vice President Iliana Yotova emphasized the key importance of scientific work in Bulgarian universities, whose projects require safeguarding in the face of serious competition. "I don't understand why, given that the change is not only in the constitutional text, but the previous government declared the Bulgarian education as its priority and there was a prime minister who should be from academic circles, there is such a cruel neglect of higher education in the country," the vice president pointed out.

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