Where children are treated with aﬀection and looked upon as individuals, where they can be assured of unﬂinching support from educators to chase their dreams and where they can feel at home are some of the pertinent aspects that parents always seek for their children in an educational institution.
Darbi College is one such institution in Soﬁa, Bulgaria that ﬁts the bill perfectly well. Darbi College is the ﬁrst British school for IGCSE and A Level studies in Bulgaria. The Cambridge Assessment International Education approval visit took place on September 13, 2007. The College became a registered centre BG004 on October 26, 2007.
We had the opportunity to learn more about the college. Here are the excerpts of the interview:
Kindly brief us about your esteemed school, its history and journey since its inception.
Darbi College is the ﬁrst British school for IGCSE and A Level studies in Bulgaria. The Cambridge Assessment International Education approval visit took place on September 13th, 2007. The College became a registered centre BG004 on October 26th, 2007.
Darbi College is part of a learning community of over 10,000 Cambridge International schools in more than 160 countries. Cambridge International has awarded the College with “completely satisfactory” outcome of all security inspections – an outstanding acknowledgment of excellence in education and exams administration.
Tell us about the mission, vision, and core values of your esteemed institute.
We believe that it is our mission to improve the chances of ALL students in our care.
Our values arise out of what we believe to be important about people, about society and knowledge.
These values shape the way our college is organized.
- We treat all our students as individuals, recognizing and responding to their personal needs.
- We engage the students in the process of their education.
- We believe that our lessons should be academically challenging.
- We are committed to a policy of social and cultural tolerance.
- We strive to develop creative personalities who will work for the prosperity of society.
Tell us about the academic and extra-curricular programs at your school. In what way are they diﬀerent from those in other schools?
Reception Year Overview:
The Reception Year course aims at guiding students through a smooth transition to the British education system, building learning habits and language skills, necessary for the IGCSE and A level courses. All subjects (apart from Bulgarian Language) are taught in English.
Cambridge IGCSE Overview:
Cambridge IGCSE is the world`s most popular international qualiﬁcation for 14 to 16 year olds. Cambridge IGCSE is an international passport to progression and success. It is recognised by leading universities and employers worldwide as evidence of academic ability.
Cambridge IGCSE provides the perfect springboard to the Cambridge Advanced stage. Cambridge IGCSE helps improve learner performance by developing skills in creative thinking, enquiry and problem solving and develops Cambridge learners who are conﬁdent, innovative, responsible and engaged – equipped for success in the fast-changing modern world.
A Level Overview:
GCE Advanced (A) Level is one of the most recognised qualiﬁcations around the world. For over 50 years, Cambridge A Levels have been accepted as a proof of academic ability for entry to universities and institutes of higher education.
Extra-curricular activities occur in timetabled sessions. Students choose from the many clubs and societies on oﬀer – drama, science, book club, social-psychological training, computer club, amongst others. Both students and teachers develop artistic and interpersonal qualities and engage in charity activities and other events fostering the civil society, to which our learners belong.
Please brief us about the featured personality (Principal/Director/Founder) behind the success of the school, and how he/she has helped enhance the outreach and development of your reputed institution.
Mrs Bistra Ilieva, Founder and Owner of Darbi College, is the ﬁrst person in Bulgaria to take the initiative and open the ﬁrst British school in Bulgaria back in 2007, gaining experience from her long-term partnership and experience in work with foreign colleges. She has been successfully running her reputed consulting agency for education abroad for over 25 years now. Mrs Ilieva is a ﬁrm believer in supporting children’s talents and has thus named her school ‘Darbi’ (talents in Bulgarian). Here children are treated with aﬀection; Mrs Ilieva and the Darbi College team see them as individuals and help them follow their dreams. This is a school which feels like home!
What struggles has your school faced in the earlier days of its inception? What challenges is the school facing now?
The IGCSE and A Level programmes were unfamiliar to the Bulgarian students and parents and as the ﬁrst Cambridge International School in Bulgaria, Darbi College faced the challenge to gain their trust. We started as a pioneer in the British secondary education, and we’ve been living up to the expectations of Cambridge International and our students’ families for over 14 years now.
As all our partners in education, Darbi College currently faces the challenges of the global pandemic. We manage to see distance learning as an opportunity rather than a threat and we believe our students and teachers feel the same.
How do help your students prepare for their future participation in the world? Do you have any special facilities/arrangements/initiatives for the same?
The Personal Tutor system nurtures excellent interaction between students and their families. Each student is supported by their Personal Tutor, with whom they can discuss general welfare and academic issues. As mediators between the learner`s family and the school, the Personal Tutors are always available for contact and well-informed of their Personal Student`s achievements. Apart from everyday guidance and support, the Personal Tutors assist students in choosing the most appropriate undergraduate course at university. Every year the Personal Tutors assist their students in creating an Individual Learning Plan based on a Multiple Intelligence Test, thus shaping a personal and academic proﬁle.
Please mention your school’s most notable achievements, accolades, accreditations, and awards.
The Cambridge Assessment International Education approval visit took place on September 13, 2007. The College became a registered centre BG004 on October 26, 2007. Darbi College has been awarded a “completely satisfactory” outcome of all Cambridge International security inspections – an outstanding acknowledgment of excellence in education and exams administration.
Covid-19 has put additional responsibility on the education sector in terms of online educational trends, hygiene, and safety precautions. How did you prepare and safeguard your students for the same?
Darbi College is committed to protect the safety of its students, their families and the teaching staﬀ and this remains our top priority in these unprecedented times. A set of strict anti-COVID-19 measures applies on the school premises. During the period of distance learning Darbi College relies on modern technologies to preserve the integrity and quality of our excellence in education while keeping students engaged and motivated.
What are the future prospects of your institution in the education space?
Darbi College makes the most of the current distance learning and the numerous ﬂexible opportunities on-line education presents. We are expanding the product portfolio of courses and education products in terms of coverage and outreach. We also take pride in cooperating with Cambridge International examiners abroad to teach some of our on-line courses.