The responsibility for arts education is shared between two ministries – the Ministry of Culture, which is responsible for specialised arts secondary schools, and the Ministry of Science and Education, which is responsible for the schools of general education and their programmes in different arts sectors, as well as for higher level arts education.
Two types of arts education programmes are offered in Bulgaria: comprehensive arts education, which covers arts courses from grades one to twelve in all schools, and specialised arts education. The main orientation of comprehensive arts education programmes throughout the past several decades was towards the classical forms of arts. A contemporary concept of education in the arts and culture may begin to include avant-garde arts, cultural heritage, design, culture of the urban environment, photography and audio-visual arts in the overall curriculum. To great extent, this concept has been enacted. There is an introductory course on contemporary art forms provided in the compulsory programmes of fine arts and music for grade eight and grade nine in the secondary general education schools.
Specialised arts education offers continuous training in the arts at high-school (grades eight to twelve) and university levels. Students from specialised arts schools and university students of music and fine arts are studying webdesign and computer technologies.
In 2019, the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Culture In 2019, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Culture signed a cooperation agreement. This document gives the opportunity to the kindergartens and schools to organise visits to state cultural institutes in the country. On the other hand, the cultural institutes are obligated to develop and submit projects for educational programmes, performances, concerts and other performing arts. The aim is to increase the interest of children and students in the Bulgarian identity, traditions, history and contemporary forms in the field of theatre, music and dance.
Since 2015, all students in tenth grade in Bulgaria take a National External Assessment of the Digital Competences. The exam tests information technology and informatics skills. This exam also applies to students in art schools.
At the end of the 2019/2020 school year, two mandatory National External Assessments (Bulgarian language and literature, and mathematics) for all students in tenth grade will be conducted for the first time. These students will be the first to graduate with the new curriculum, which has been developed by the Ministry of Science and Education in the last couple of years. The exams will assess the knowledge and skills of the first high school stage. In line with the Law on Preschool and School Education (2017), the secondary education has been divided into two stages. In the second stage, students will be able to specialise in a variety of fields, including arts and culture.