Student sues for stress

January 19, 2007

Kristian Gyoshev, a Bulgarian law student, has attended the last in a series of trials in which he accused the Education Ministry of causing him severe stress by unexpectedly introducing matriculation exams.

Plovdiv's District Court is shortly expected to issue a ruling on the case.

Mr Gyoshev, who won one case in the Supreme Court of Appeals, brought a civil action for BGN4,500 (£1,500) for non-pecuniary damages.

He claims that the sudden introduction of new tests caused him stress, anxiety, insomnia and other problems.

The prosecutor's office and the Education Minister both described Mr Gyoshev's claim as groundless.

Vesselin Metodiev, Bulgaria's former Education Minister, issued a decree in 2002 stating that all students should take matriculation exams at the end of high school.

The announcement sparked an outcry from senior pupils who had to embark on several months of unexpected preparation. Mr Gyoshev was at the helm of student protests when the exams were first introduced.

* Students in Bulgaria are among those who stand to gain the most from the country's accession to the European Union because they will qualify for much lower tuition costs in many other EU member states.

However, most Bulgarian university officials do not fear a mass exodus.

They believe that the lower cost of tuition will not make up for the higher cost of living.

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