Society & Education

  • Bulgarian teachers staged demonstrations in front of the Parliament in Sofia.  Photo by Kozzmen.  Creative Commons licensed.

    Bulgaria: Classsroom Blues (and Grays)

    SOFIA, Bulgaria | At the German Language High School, the teachers’ lounge is a gloomy room with faded sofas, drab chairs, and dust-covered computers that no longer work. Time stopped […]

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  • Moldova: Diplomas for Sale

    Moldova: Diplomas for Sale

    CHISINAU, Moldova | Ion speaks with quiet resignation about the corruption in the Moldovan school system. Ion recently graduated from a lyceum in northern Moldova and paid 450 Moldovan leu […]

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  • Azerbaijan: Come Back, Kids

    Azerbaijan: Come Back, Kids

    BAKU, Azerbaijan | Fariz Ismayilzade frequently says “no.” The chairman of the American Alumni Association, a Baku-based group of past participants in U.S. educational programs, said the roughly 900 members […]

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  • Serbia: What’s it Worth to You?

    Serbia: What’s it Worth to You?

    BELGRADE, Serbia | In late February, the central Serbian town of Kragujevac became the butt of a popular joke: A bus traveling around the country stops at the Kragujevac station. […]

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  • Serbia: History to Order

    Serbia: History to Order

    Serbian politicians still view history teaching in public schools as an instrument for shaping historical memory and national consciousness in order to fit pre-determined national goals and purposes. This is […]

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  • Kyrgyzstan: Reading, Writing, and Riots

    Kyrgyzstan: Reading, Writing, and Riots

    OSH, Kyrgyzstan | One afternoon a few weeks ago, the school where Svetlana Karpushkina works as a principal was attacked by a gang of 40 teenagers from another school.

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  • Poland: Into Bed, Blindly

    Poland: Into Bed, Blindly

    Years ago, Poles would apparently blush when they came to one tick-box on customs and immigration forms: sex. Embarrassed at these foreigners’ bald intrusion into the darkest sphere of their […]

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  • Russia: A History in Dispute

    Russia: A History in Dispute

    ULYANOVSK, Russia | Teaching history in Russia is, in the best of circumstances, a delicate matter. In a single class, teachers can find the children and grandchildren of those who […]

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  • Kosovo: Far From Pristine

    Kosovo: Far From Pristine

    PRISTINA, Kosovo | Petrit Hysaj is angry, angry because he says that the past week has been a complete waste of his time. A third-year political science student at Pristina […]

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  • Bulgaria: The Schools that Aren’t Schools

    Bulgaria: The Schools that Aren’t Schools

    SOFIA, Bulgaria | The imam may have traveled halfway across Bulgaria to meet us, but his first concern as he arrives at Sofia’s bus station is clear: “I hope you’re […]

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