Aksakov Grammar- School in Bulgaria

Аксаковская гимназия в Болгарии
Аксаковская гимназия в Болгарии

Aksakov Grammar- School is one of the oldest schools in Bulgaria was founded in a small town Pazardzhak not far from Plovdiv in 1842. It was built with the help of craftsmen and prosperous townsmen. In 1845 it was renamed into "Main 4 Grade College". In 1878 the college was famous not only in the town but also abroad. Many Bulgarian patriots worked at school. We still remember their names; they are Michael Madjarov, Stoyan Kostypkov, Petro Mashev, Todor Mamjiev.

In 1897 male distrct school was named after Ivan Sergeivich Aksakov who was a man involved in social actions and supporter of Bulgarian people. The school "Ivan Aksakov" took the honorable first place among colleges of Bulgaria.

In 1997 the Grammar School "Ivan Aksakov" solemnly celebrated its anniversary. In May of 1998 the delegation from Ufa Aksakov Grammar- School visited Aksakov Grammar- School in Bulgaria with the chairman of Aksakov's fund M.A.Chvanov ahead. Aksakov Grammar- School of Bulgaria is famous in our republic too. Due to this fact many materials concerning this school were published in pres. We offer some extracts from them to your attention.

The most prestigious grammar school of Pazardzhak was named after Ivan Sergeivich Aksakov. Today our interlocutor is the headmaster of this school Alexandra Polyshuk. Having Russian background she got secondary education in Russia and to get high education she studied at Plovdive State University. She worked as a teacher of Russian language at school. In 1992 she was appointed the headmaster of the oldest school of the city.

-Alexandra Nikolayevna, when was your school founded and did it get any other name?

- Aksakov Grammar- School is the oldest secondary educational establishment not only in our city but also in Bulgaria. The historic way of the school was difficult and long. In 1845 in the yard of higher order of clergy a main four-grade school by Russian sample was built. Its first teachers were Russian pupils Nikifor the priest of Konstantinov and Jordan Yen. Their coming to Pazardzhik influenced the cultural level of the city. Pazardzhik School became famous in Bulgaria.

In 1874-1876 outstanding Bulgarian teachers as Konstantin Velickov, Ivan Voyvodov, Yakov Matakiev and others worked at school. They formed a perfect male educational establishment. With their help the school became one of the biggest patriotic and revolutionary establishments on the territory of our city. After Russian-Turkish liberation war it was decided to build a new establishment. In 1897 the first male Grammar School named after outstanding Slavonophil was founded.

During World War II pupils took an active part in fascist struggle and Grammar School is proud of its heroes, members of youth organization. They are Lyben Shkordov, Vladimir Goshev, Konstantin Stavrev, Stoy Kalpazanov, Laza Bosnev and others.

In 1945 Grammar School was divided into the first and the second. Before 1945 only guys studied at school. In 1945 the first school became secondary educational establishment. The status of the school changed - it was a polytechnic, secondary, educational, and profiled in the humanities. During 1992-1993 the school became a profiled grammar school. It has its own prizes: the state order of Cyril and Mefody of first grade; order of the Red Banner and many others.

Teachers of your school have taught and brought up many generations. Are they proud of their patron?

Ivan Sergeivich Aksakov certainly a great but at the same time a tragic figure in the history of not only Russia but of all Slavonizm. His activity was many-sided. He was an honest statesman, a brilliant publicist and a famous scientist. The main thing about him- he was a supporter of Slavonic brotherhood. And we, Bulgarians, shall never forget that Aksakov, as the chairman of the Slav committee, had helped the Bulgarian fighting squad with material means and weapons... By the way, the Bulgarians have called his volunteer corps "Aksakov's Children" during the Russo-Japanese war. Ivan Sergeyevich supported the Bulgarian students in Russia, took care of them. He declared in 1864 that the Russian science must be proud of the fact that it had given to Bulgaria such enlighteners as Nayden Gorev and Savva Filaretov.

Aksakov is a sacred and bright example for all of us, teachers and pupils of the secondary school which bears his name.

Nevertheless we knew of him much less as far back as literally few years ago. Fortunately, guests from Ufa have arrived to us in May 1998. Mifhail Chvanov, a writer and the vice president of the International fund of the Slav written language and culture, the chairman of the Aksakov's fund, Vladimir Kurochkin, director of the Aksakov's school in Ufa, Nina Fyodorova and Lidia Ponomaryova, his deputies Anya and Marat, pupils of the school/ Unfortunately, Marat is not alive by now, and when we had known of the tragedy we all felt sorry and mourned for him.

Our guests were telling us not only about Aksakov but about their school. The fact that there is no other secondary school in the whole world with this name and the facts that the school in Ufa bears the name of Sergey Timofeyevich and ours bears the name of his son Ivan Sergeyevich have been found exceptionally interesting for us. Pupils who enter the secondary school should know their patron's life. Therefore their class managers tell them about Aksakov on the first lesson. They are being proud of this patron not only during the studying in the secondary school but all their life.

- You have mentioned that your secondary school is one of the oldest in Bulgaria. Eminent people, scientists, professors, academicians had been studying there, hadn't they?

- Yes, they had. Many people, who is well-known in Bulgaria, had been educated in our school. As far back as during the world war I the following persons had been working at the school: Ivan Stoyanov, a historian, later the author of a number of manuals, writers Tosher and Poskalev, a teacher of philosophy Levicharov, a chemist Vasilev, a geography teacher Batakliyev, who became afterwards the professor and director of the Sophia state university's geography department. His fundamental work "Tatar Pazarjik, the historic and geographic review" is the complete history and geography of our land. It is very hard for me to mention all the names who have finished the secondary school for the space of more than 100 years.

- How many pupils are there in the secondary school and how successfully do they finish it?

- There are about 620 pupils who have entered the 7th form and who have passed the examination on literature this year. Besides them, the pupils who have finished the 8th form, also study at the secondary school For example, we were very glad to know this September that all our last year's school leavers had become students. This fact is exceptionally important for us, because it testifies of our teachers' work which we have done.

- What subjects do your pupils study?

- In view of the humanitarian trend of our secondary school the most favourite subjects of our pupils are literature, history, philosophy, geography, foreign languages. By the way there is the only class of our school in the city in which the Russian language is being studied intensively. As a specialist in Russian philology and as a man of Russian blood I consider it to be my duty to popularize not only the language but the literature and the culture of Russia too. It seems to me that every young man cannot but read Pushkin's verses, Chekhov's plays, Dostoevsky's novels. The soul is empty without them. If I had time to give even only a little drop of my love to our children, I should be so happy.

- What is the cultural life of the secondary school? Please, tell us about your holidays.

We have many holidays. We love, keep and continue them. The greatest holiday is the secondary school's holiday. We mark it on 3rd of March. This holiday is connected not only with Aksakov's personality but with the liberation of Bulgaria from the Turkish slavery. When the 3rd of March had become the official holiday of the Bulgarian people several years ago, we thought to mark our holiday in October, when Ivan Sergeevich as born. But then we have refused this idea, because it would be a breaking of the tradition. All the pupils of our school know that it has its holiday on 3rd of March. They come to school and we celebrate it all together.

The holiday is usually the pupils' affair. They show their talents on it. Last year, when we marked the 105th anniversary, we decided to call the holiday the following way: Aksakov's talents. There are many poets, dancers, singers, actors among our schoolboys. They all have performed before their former schoolteachers and schoolboys. The holiday dedicating to the school-leavers go off very interesting. The awards are given to them. The junior schoolchildren congratulate them with some humorous nuances, reminding them of their "school acts of heroism". Everybody waits for this holiday with the breathless interest and gets ready for it impatiently.

There is a company, a group of painters and singers at the school. Our pupils have performed his own program at the national TV. The secondary school was a guest of a youth competition.

Charity performances for orphans and invalids are arranged for the pupils from poorly provided families under the leadership of schoolteachers.

I had mentioned that there are poetic and literary gifts among our schoolboys and schoolgirls. The collected works of our pupils have been published in commemorating the 105th anniversary; the book of poetry by Diana Balabanova, the schoolgirl of the 12th form, has been published.

Many pupils visit actively the city's club of literary lovers. They organize poetic evening and meetings with well-known representatives of the modern Bulgarian culture for their classmates.

- What prestigious competitions do they take part in? and what awards do they get?

- The pupils have a great wish to show their abilities and knowledge. They often take part in initiatives of different kinds in spheres of literature, art and sport.

They sometimes win prizes for their essays and drafts. We are proud for our sportsmen too who have become the track and field athletics champions of the republic. We are glad that they go in for sport besides their mental development.

- Do the local city council help you with creating good conditions for the education?

- Yes it does! The local city council does everything it can for the effective learning of the schoolboys. Besides the mayor of the city of Pazarjik Dr. Ivan Kolchakov was its pupil too. Unfortunately there is another secondary school in the building which is situated in the centre of the city. Our lessons go off in the meaning, and the pupil of the other schools study there in the afternoon. And it goes without saying we wish that the city council would find another building for our colleagues and pupils. We got many means for supporting for the material and technical basis on the part of the Community for the last time. We also find a great comprehension on the part of parents. With the parents' help we could equip the computer class and buy a TV set, a fax and tape recorders. We are very much obliged to our pupils' parents for their comprehension and their wish to help us in that hard days.



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