Daskalolivnitsa

   Elena as a well known revival center which left a significant trace in the history of Bulgarian education.There are two main factors for this: zealously defended Bulgarian spirit in the years of Ottoman rule and the fast development of the economy in the village.
   In the seventeenth century in Elena existed a convent where teachers were monks from Mount Athos . The religious schoolwas openaround the year of 1690-1710. For its existence testifies a brief note in a handwritten old book:

 
Elena Municipality early builds its educational policy. In the early nineteenth century there were already three monastery schools.The school community collected funds from the fathers of the children to pay the remuneration of teachers. The teacher Yordan Nenov talks about one of the final exams: I've heard conversations between thewidows andpoor people: "I will sell the handkerchief from my head only my child to be educated."

    In 1817 was foundedthe school fund, and three years later was built the first public building for the needs of the school. Amongthe first monastery teachers who taught children in their own homes were Stoyan Gramatik and Doyno Gramatik. They both madecopies ofPaisieva history. Doyno Gramatik has arranged a good school, which as a sacred legacy takes his son Andrew Robovski in 1819.

    Few villages in Bulgaria at that time could be proud of a school like this in the town of Elena. Neophyt Bozveli wrote a flattering assessment: "Elena is a great village with two churches and a slavic school."

    Andrei Robovski - teacher Decho as people affectionately called him, updated the educational system after his return from Svishtov, where he saw and implimented the organization and the program material from the mutual School of Hristaki Pavlovic. Yordan Nenov wrote that the number of students has surpassed 500. The mutual instruction method and the first division of classes were implemented.

  It can be assumed that the early conversion of monastery school in the town of Elena started in 1834 by Andrei Popdoinov Robovski. T
he revival school was prepared to adopt a new varied program to mee the requirements of life, the interests of the craftsmen and traders who were supposed to have higher education and culture. With this noble task was occupied the first returned in Bulgaria and graduated in Russia Ivan Nikolov Momtchilov who had a solid scientific background. Born in Elena in 1819, he studied in his hometown taught by Andrei Robovski and later he was his assistant teacher. He continued his education on the island of Andros taught by the famous Greek philosopher and teacher Theophilus Kairis, then by Bavarian professors at Athens High School and Herson Seminary. Highly educated, a reformer and scientist, speaking Slavonic, Greek, Latin, German, Turkish and Russian, he was one of the first Slavic corresponding with the Czech scientist Hatay.

    Ivan Momtchilov didn`t complete the course of Odessa Seminary, because he got ill. He returned to his home town well - educated and with the ambition to rebuild the school followring the Russian model. In the autumn of 1843 he founded Elena class school. He brought together schools and divided students by age and preparation of two groups: "From the small and less-prepared students he formed the so-called mutual school classes where at first thaught his fellow Jordan Nenov, and then Ivan Popstefanov. From the older students he formed a preparatory school where he worked himself supervising from time to time the work in the other mutual school. "

 
    The reformer Momtchilov implemented rich for its time curriculum. At school were taught the following subjects: "sacred history, catechism, dogmatic theology, Church Slavonic language with its grammar, , political geography, arithmetics, some algebra and geometry, logic, psychology, physics, general history, Russian language, Greek language. " Conclusive evidence for the study of these subjects is the preserved testimony of Stoyan Andreev Robovski dating from October 27, 1851, kept in the National Library "St. Cyril and Methodius".

   Ivan Momtchilov diversified teaching in class with visual aids made ​​from him. He aimed to make the link of knowledgewith the real life.Interesting are the written by him 28 "tips how to keep healthy." It was very difficult to implement the lessons in gymnastics. Turks considered military training (Talim) gymnastic exercises and asked him to give an explanation.
 

   Momtchilov establishedgood school order and discipline with ringing of a bell and determined the students on duty-“chief” and "dvernik (who stays at the door)." Furthermore, he introduced new subjects, founded a school library , arranged celebration of the school on the Day of Holy trinity. He first spoke in 1844 of Slavonic Apostles Cyril and Methodius to students and wrote about them Troparion (commendable track). On his advice in 1844 was built the building of a new school which is preserved until today.
 

   The teacher Momtchilov was deeply respected and loved by students, teachers and citizens. His pedagogical views and methods deserve attention even today. Even thenhe removesthe physical punishment asinstructive: "When the teacher lacks knowledge and system, he is looking for them in the sticks" - says Momtchilov.

    Nurtured with pure love of the motherland since his childhood, and especially of those years when he was a student of Andros, he is an active member of the Slav company , the patriot found the shortcuts to the hearts of his students and succeeded to awake and ignite in them patriotic feelings. Mottoof the school is Momtchilov`s call: “Love your country and never want and prefer another one”.

    With the return of Nichola Mikhailovsky in 1848 from Moscow, where he finished History and Philology Faculty of the University with his PhD, the class school marks a higher stage of its development. The curriculumwas enriched. Elena class school developed in humanitarian profile, unlike Koprivshtitsa school which had the Mathematics and Naturalprofile.

    In his memoirs, Ivan Karshovski wrote that Nichola Mihailovsky "first Bulgarian scientist at this time, cajole people of Elena to open university in the town of Elena where to be taught more adult students and former teachers, not younger than 20 years who were able to meet most flagrant need of teachers in Bulgaria ... " Elenalodged studentsfrom the whole country. Remarkable is the content of the written by Petko Slavejkov song whichwassung and with him from Tarnovo came eleven disciples: As a student at Elena class school in 1848 Slavejkov called it with the wonderful name "Daskalolivnitsa" as candle-works, called to pour teachers. TheDaskalolivnitsa brings rave Renaissance educators and revolutionaries. Besides Petko Slavejkov here studed Nicolas Kozlev, Dragan Tsankov, Dr. Ivan Kasabov, Todor Shishkov, Nicholas and Georgi Zhivkov, Ivan Karshovski, Stoyan Robovski , Sava Katrafilov, Stefan Bobchev, and probably Dobri Voynikov , Dobri Chintulov and other famous Renaissance figures.

    More than a hundred students educated at Daskalolivnitsata sowed the seeds of education in 66 cities and 59 villages of the country:from Tulcea to Ohrid, from Giurgiu and Ploiesti to Thessaloniki, from Vratsa and Vranje to Burgas, Edirne and Istanbul. They also founded class schools, built community centers, worked in local revolutionary committees.