Private School Druzhba: The Fashionably Innovative Learning Grounds
Private School Druzhba

Education in Bulgaria is mainly supported by the state through the Ministry of Education and Science. School education is compulsory for the children aged seven to sixteen. This makes parents legally responsible for the education of their children. But to secure a learning experience which is holistic, based on real-time information, and ensures optimal development of a student’s mind is another matter entirely.

Delivering on a good, much less great, educational period of a child is crucial to making them into responsible and fortuitous adults. Fortunately, there is a school in Bulgaria which has been and continues to be a promising playground for its pupils to grow in. This is Private School Druzhba.

Private School Druzhba, Plovdiv, was founded in 2004. Starting with only 15 students in six different grades, from prep class to 5th grade, with just 2-3 students in each class, the school grew up every year – in number of students and also managed to improve its teaching methodology, becoming one of the most successful schools in Plovdiv.

The year 2013 bears a crucial significance in the school’s history because it was the inception of its Secondary (High) School. The year 2013 bears a crucial significance in the school’s history because it was the inception of its Secondary (High) School.

A School and A Promise of a Lifetime

Excellence, creativity, potential – these are the bywords of Private School Druzhba (PSD Plovdiv), an attractive innovative school focused on foreign language studies. Pupils can develop their abilities and receive adequate contemporary education and training in the constructivist classroom and school environment.

The school is perfectly suited for the bright minds of children from preschool to students at Grade 12, with the stress placed on understanding and responding to the social and emotional needs of trainees. Students are treated individually by placing them at the centre of the learning process. CLIL (content and language integrated learning) is used in the teaching process. All the natural science disciplines – biology, chemistry and physics are carried out in English, while the complete curriculum covers and exceeds the national requirements.

Students have the opportunity to enquire and discover themselves by taking part in various projects and being integrated in implementation of problem-based school activities. Students and teachers love the homeland and preserve the traditions of their ancestors. In the lessons and training delivered at this school, individual care is focused on each student`s personal potential. The priority is always to give a good quality education to prepare the students for all life challenges.

Speaking of challenges, this school had its bunch too. It was hard for PSD to settle the authority and to become a well-known institution. All teachers and staff devoted a huge amount of time and effort to fulfil that purpose. As the school is a private institution, it is not allowed to receive a budget from the government and to take part in public projects (national projects) which are directed by Ministry of Education and Science.

A Promising Environment to Nurture Young Minds

At the Private School Druzhba, alongside the basically settled requirements by educational authorities, there are extra-curricular clubs like: robotics, modern dance, aerobics, piano, chess, outdoor sports etc. “With these activities, we aim to strengthen the inner connection between students` personality and school; they are shown how general knowledge is implemented in real life; they are kept safe being protected from acquiring bad habits,” commented the school Principal, Dr Iliya Emilov (PhD).

Additionally, the constructivist academic environment and well-equipped staff contribute to the excellent results of students, who regularly take part in regional, national and international competitions. University application workshops prepare the students for applying in Bulgaria and abroad, as well as taking the international exams.

But it is not all work and no play – school trips, theatre workshops, gaming competitions and picnics make life at school a pleasure that leaves fond memories.

The Visionary behind PSD

Dr. Emilov has made great reforms at this school in the past five years. He modernized the entire school and changed the system from class distribution to a subject-distribution one,

in order to help teachers to create constructivist learning environment as well as investing in science and language education.

Furthermore, he included PSD as an examination centre for Cambridge certificate exams and enriched the facilities, equipment, and classroom design to provide supportive academic environment for excellent results of students, who regularly take part in national and international Olympiads. He also initiated e-registry system and PSD school was one of the first schools in the region using that platform for marks, absences, and topics. The above-mentioned facts are only an introduction to the length and breadth of Iliya Emilov’s contributions, work, and perseverance. Some of Dr Emilov’s other noteworthy achievements are as follows:

  • He developed and won the European project, Erasmus + entitled ‘Innovative practices in Education’ and especially had it conducted in Helsinki, Finland.
  • During the pandemic, he launched a project for all teachers to have a laptop and train the staff on using G-Suite for Educational purposes.
  • He played a key role in Druzhba Schools being awarded in the Best Brand Awards for education in 2018 in Bulgaria. Moreover, he received an honourable placket from the mayor of the central district of Plovdiv in 2019.
  • On behalf of PSD school, he received a certificate for Digital Transformation from the National Digital Platform Shkolo to be one of the first schools which started to use e-registry system. He was awarded an honourable placket in the project innovations in action.
  • He participated in international and national conferences by presenting reports on education. He has publications in international journals with high impact factor.

When asked about how does the school help prepare its students with their imminent participation in the real world, Dr Emilov commented: “We focus on our students’ potential

and abilities. Based on that, there are special workshops and class activities which aim to broaden their perception of the world and give them useful orientation for further education at universities. There is a Students` Council in our school. They select their representatives, and these representatives meet regularly, plan and organize different activities and projects in and out of the school”.

Evolving Tides

Covid-19 is a crucial challenge for the whole world – disrupting communities and industries alike. But, thanks to the devoted professional teachers of PSD, the school managed quickly and effectively to switch to online teaching and developed various methods trying to engage student’s attention and keep their motivation at a high level. Regarding the online trends, the school has decided to use G-Suite along with Google Classroom and Google Meet.

As we are back to school all necessary equipment like dispensers, notifications, guidelines for students are installed to ensure teachers` and students` safety,” added Dr Emilov.

By preserving the traditions whilst always following the new trends – thinking of implementing more STEM projects, the distinguished Private School Druzhba, Plovdiv, continues to modernize the school facilities and offer the best care and education to all its students to ensure their optimal participation in the future.

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