Students will be able to miss up to 15 days of school for family reasons with a note from the parent. This was announced by the Minister of Education and Science, Prof. Galin Tsokov, in an interview for the program “The Day Begins” on BNT. Currently, these days are up to 3 with a request to the class teacher and another 7, but with a signature from the principal of the respective school. The Ministry of Education is currently preparing a change in the Inclusive Education Ordinance , which will enter into force by the end of February, which will eliminate the need for a medical note for schools and kindergartens in case of short-term illness of children.
The change in the regulation will definitely relieve parents, teachers and pediatricians. We remind you that with the introduction of electronic notices for absence due to illness at the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year, instead of facilitating the procedure, it caused a number of problems, and the National Network for Children received numerous signals from parents about a number of subsequent problems. Therefore, at the beginning of November, the NNC sent an Open Letter to the Ministry of Education and Culture, with which we made a request to drop the medical note for short-term absences from school due to minor ailments. Waiting for hours in front of a disguised doctor takes away from the limited time of both parents and doctors for actual examinations and working with seriously ill patients. There were other problems, including burdening parents with a fee for issuing the notes, as it is outside the package of activities covered by the NHIF. The open letter was supported and expressed the position of the Bulgarian Pediatric Association and organisations working with children, part of the NNC. The document was addressed to the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Education and Science, as well as to the Committee on Health and the Committee on Education and Science of the 49th National Assembly. A few days later, our opinion was supported by the institution of the ombudsman , which also referred the ministers of education and science, of health, of e-government, as well as the chairmen of the competent parliamentary committees on education and health.
The proposed change in the Inclusive Education Ordinance is yet to be published for public discussion, and when it comes into force, parents will be able to excuse their children’s absence for up to 15 school days only by notifying the class teacher.