Thursday, September 20, 2007

Soapbox Gets a Little Bigger....

I'm here to climb up on my soapbox again. I don't think project funding should be determined by people you know personally. There's too much question about whether your project was approved (or vice versa) because of your relationship to that person. Well, Peace Corps does it with SPA, but somehow it's different. And I think you should always be able to submit your documents electronically, so you can be sure that everyone on the commission is seeing all of your documents at the same time, and there can't be any "discussion" if a document is suddenly "lost." Why am I saying this? Well, a few weeks ago, we were helping schools and pre-schools in the area to apply to the Minestry of Education and Science. One of the guys reviewing the submitted documents is from Rakitovo. Because we know who he is, we get to now speculate why some projects were approved, some weren't, and some had their documents mysteriously "vanish." If the commission were filled with people we didn't know, we wouldn't even have the pleasure of speculation. Bulgaria can be like a small town sometimes. I think committee members who approve projects should be taken out of the equation when institutions in their towns are on the line.
In other news, the schools are about to go on strike... again. I already had my rant about why I think teacher's should be paid well and shouldn't strike. What's going to happen to the students? I saw on the news today (of course, we all know how the media can be....) that teachers were having a "Day of Silence" as part of their pre-strike activities. In one class, students were doing the horo instead of studying. It turns out that we might have a hard time holding our fair for the "European Year of Equal Opportunities for All" (I love the European Union and its brevity) without teachers to bring together the students to participate. All that work.... I'm going to momentarily climb off my soapbox and get something to eat.

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