Second National History Competition

“Donors and Sponsorship: Charity and Progress”

The Second Bulgarian National History Competition takes place with the support of the Körber Foundation, Open Society Foundation, Xerox Bulgaria, 13 centuries Bulgaria National Donation Fund and the co-operation of the Ministry of Education and Science, the General Archive State Agency, the Ministry of Culture, Department for Information and In-service training of Teachers and the National Polytechnics Museum.

In October 2000, a workshop for history teachers-tutors on the subject of and Methodology of the mentorship of a project research paper was organized in Sofia. During that period a seminar with the award-winning participants was also held on the topic Modernisation, innovation: resistance and rapture. The students prepared an exhibition with posters and collages from the awarded research papers from the First National History Competition, which took place in the National Polytechnics Museum-Sofia, Kazanlak and Sliven.

After meetings and numerous discussions with experts deliberating over the topic of the next edition of the competition the framework theme of the Bulgarian history competition was chosen as “Donors and Sponsorship: Charity and Progress”.

Experts from the structures of the competition and partnership organizations were involved in the production of the promotional materials: a leaflet, a poster and a magazine containing the results from the first edition of the competition and stressing upon the explanations on the new topic. In December 2000, the promotional materials for the announcement of the second competition were prepared. They were sent through the distribution network of the Ministry of Education and Science to 28 Regional Inspectorates, and through history experts they were distributed to the schools.

A part of this popularity was due to the one-minute-radio advertisement on the Bulgarian National Radio, as well as to the publications in the newspaper: Az Buki – a periodical of Bulgarian teachers. The promotional materials for the competition were shown in a series of TV programmers for secondary school students.

The organisation of the 12 consultative seminars for students and history teachers/tutors was carried in different towns around the country explaining the new theme of the History Competition.

In December 2001, a seminar for history teachers/tutors was organised on the subject of Active learning methods in history teaching where 21 participants took part. There were three different work sections: work with different non-typical resources, resources and critical thinking, oral history and interview techniques.

The deadline for submitting the research papers was 15 December 2001.

The number of research papers received was 146 and the number of participants was 249. The papers could be divided by subject into 12 groups:

The object of student research papers were:

  1. The personality and the role of the donator, as well as his social affiliation, profession and philosophy;
  2. The variety of the donation products;
  3. The objects of the donation;
  4. The personal and community motives: the donation as a moral act;
  5. The donation as a factor in the process of development and progress.

The research papers use mainly: written sources (archive documents, press materials), interviews and inquiries, photographs, statistics.

The jury evaluated the research papers in two stages. Two members of the jury independently of one another evaluate each paper. All jury members review the nominated 25 research papers thus reaching the second stage. The public defence was held on 6 April 2002 and there were selected the 15 prize-winners.

In order to raise the awards fund many institutions and organizations were contacted and it was suggested that they set up an award on their behalf for papers dealing with the history of the respective institution or administration. About 100 students and 20 tutors received sets of books. Every participant in the competition received a certification for participation.

The five schools with the highest participation received a set of books provided by one of the biggest publishing houses in Bulgaria.

The official ceremony for the prize-winners was held in the National History Museum on 8 June 2002 where the Deputy Chairman of the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria bestowed the awards. The Third Edition of the National History Competition 2003-2004 will be held under the aegis of the Chairman of the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria.