How does Bulgaria compare internationally?

Bulgaria performs worse than most other EECA countries in reading, maths and science.

Moreover, Bulgaria lags behind most OECD countries.

Education outcomes are more inequitable in Bulgaria than internationally

Socio-economically advantaged students and girls perform better than disadvantaged students and boys.

Policies are needed to help all students succeed.

Educational spending in Bulgaria is low by regional and international benchmarks

Bulgaria's expenditure on education is far less than the OECD average. More spending could contribute to better outcomes.

Students in Bulgaria spend less time in class than students internationally

Students spent roughly two fewer hours per week in class than students across the OECD.

Spending more time in class can be related to higher performance.

Students in Bulgaria are more likely to be truant than students internationally

59% of students skipped class or skipped school in the previous two weeks.

Truancy is related to lower academic performance and can lead to high risk behaviour such as dropout.

Teaching practices in Bulgaria differ from international benchmarks

Compared to the average across OECD countries:

  • Teachers in Bulgaria use more teacher-directed instruction (e.g. lecturing to classes)

  • And slightly less adaptive methods that focus on meeting students’ individual needs.

The practices commonly used by teachers in Bulgaria are associated with lower reading scores

More teacher-directed instruction is generally associated with lower reading performance and more adaptive instruction is generally associated with higher reading performance.

Teachers in Bulgaria are more likely than teachers in OECD countries to engage in behaviour that may hinder student learning

Teachers are more likely to:

  • Be absent

  • Resist change

  • Not meet individual student needs