School as Mission
This is the thought behind all decisions taken at the PR Slaveikov School in Sofia, Bulgaria – Mission rather than Business.
Of course, strategic business and financial planning are needed to run a successful school, and, as Nadya reported at the conference, the school is now in a much better position than a couple of years ago. The number of paying students is now over 100, and for the first time this year they are receiving a “pupil premium” payment from the state, whereas previously the state did not give any support to private or to Christian schools. They do fear somewhat that in return, there might be interference or control from the state, but they will see that as a good opportunity to show inspectors around.
A similar opportunity has come from the teaching of Christian ethics in the school – they seek parents’ permission to do so, but a few parents did complain to the ministry of education – and the school has been able to write a long explanatory letter to the ministry.
The school is unique in giving equal opportunities to children with disabilities, and consequently they have quite a waiting list. They have discovered that very many of the students have speech difficulties, so they are employing a speech therapist. They also want to develop a programme for gifted children, and also to start an English language school.
The main purpose of the school is to spread Christian values in society, and to share the gospel through relationships. Many of the students have accepted Christ, and begun to share the gospel at home.