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Bulgaria:Lifelong Learning Strategy

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Overview Bulgaria

Contents

Bulgaria:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Bulgaria:Historical Development

Bulgaria:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Bulgaria:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Bulgaria:Political and Economic Situation

Bulgaria:Organisation and Governance

Bulgaria:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Bulgaria:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Bulgaria:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Bulgaria:Organisation of Private Education

Bulgaria:National Qualifications Framework

Bulgaria:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Bulgaria:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Bulgaria:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Bulgaria:Funding in Education

Bulgaria:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Bulgaria:Higher Education Funding

Bulgaria:Adult Education and Training Funding

Bulgaria:Early Childhood Education and Care

Bulgaria:Organisation of Early Childhood Education and Care

Bulgaria:Teaching and Learning in Early Childhood Education and Care

Bulgaria:Assessment in Early Childhood Education and Care

Bulgaria:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Bulgaria:Single Structure Education (Integrated Primary and Lower Secondary Education)

Bulgaria:Organisation of Single Structure Education

Bulgaria:Teaching and Learning in Single Structure Education

Bulgaria:Assessment in Single Structure Education

Bulgaria:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Single Structure Education

Bulgaria:Upper Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Bulgaria:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Bulgaria:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Bulgaria:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Bulgaria:Organisation of Vocational Lower Secondary Education

Bulgaria:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Lower Secondary Education

Bulgaria:Assessment in Vocational Lower Secondary Education

Bulgaria:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Bulgaria:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Bulgaria:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Bulgaria:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Bulgaria:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Bulgaria:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Bulgaria:Higher Education

Bulgaria:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Bulgaria:First Cycle Programmes

Bulgaria:Bachelor

Bulgaria:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Bulgaria:Second Cycle Programmes

Bulgaria:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Bulgaria:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Bulgaria:Adult Education and Training

Bulgaria:Institutions Providing Adult Education and Training

Bulgaria:Main Programmes and Provision in Adult Education and Training

Bulgaria:Teachers and Education Staff

Bulgaria:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Bulgaria:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Bulgaria:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Bulgaria:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Bulgaria:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Bulgaria:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Bulgaria:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Bulgaria:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Bulgaria:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Bulgaria:Management and Other Education Staff

Bulgaria:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Bulgaria:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Bulgaria:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Bulgaria:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Bulgaria:Management Staff for Higher Education

Bulgaria:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Bulgaria:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Bulgaria:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Bulgaria:Quality Assurance

Bulgaria:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Bulgaria:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Bulgaria:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Bulgaria:Educational Support and Guidance

Bulgaria:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Bulgaria:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Bulgaria:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Bulgaria:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Bulgaria:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Bulgaria:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Bulgaria:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Bulgaria:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Bulgaria:Mobility and Internationalisation

Bulgaria:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Bulgaria:Mobility in Higher Education

Bulgaria:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Bulgaria:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Bulgaria:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Bulgaria:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Bulgaria:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Bulgaria:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Bulgaria:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Bulgaria:National Reforms in School Education

Bulgaria:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Bulgaria:National Reforms in Higher Education

Bulgaria:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Bulgaria:European Perspective

Bulgaria:Legislation

Bulgaria:Institutions

Bulgaria:Bibliography

Bulgaria:Glossary

The National Strategy for Lifelong Learning (2014-2020) was adopted with DCM № 12 of January 10, 2014

The Document has been elaborated in response to challenges, which on one hand have to do with our country’s need to overcome the consequences of the extended debt financial crisis in Europe and worldwide, and on the other – to preserve the national identity and cultural diversity in the course of implementation of the cohesion policies. 


This Strategy for Lifelong Learning is expected to be perceived as a response to all emerging challenges in regards to the social inclusion and economic growth.

This Strategy outlines the content, forms, environment, and interactions among all players in the lifelong learning process, that is: 

  • learners – all persons within the country, who are engaged in learning in the area of education, the formal and non-formal learning or informal learning;
  • training providers – the institutions carrying out training, (whether private or government kindergartens, schools, universities, training centres, culture institutions, etc.), which meets society’s needs and the labour market’s requirements;
  • the employers, trade organizations, labour unions, civil society organizations, and other are those, which set forth and meet the above requirements, which deal with the needs for education and training; the regions, municipalities, and local communities have an important part to play in the process of asserting their position of „learning regions”; 
  • government bodies – ministries and agencies – set out the national policies in the area of education and training, as well as the relevant tools and measures required to ensure the efficiency of demand and supply of LLL. 

The National Strategy for Lifelong Learning sets out the strategic framework of the government’s policy in education and training during the period 2014-2020, which aims at achieving the European goal for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

This Strategy’s context takes into account the new goals and the new scope of learning, the learner groups, the providers, the learning/teaching methods, the initiatives for demand and supply of learning, the supporting measures, the transparency and comparability, as well as quality assurance. The document covers all forms of education, training, and learning – formal, non-formal, and informal – which one undergoes throughout life, and also provides recommendations for the following years, which would serve as basis in the preparation of annual plans, based on which progress in the implementation of LLL in Bulgaria would be traced. 

Vision 

As at 2020 Bulgaria would be a country, where conditions have been created for full creative and professional success of the individual person and where the access to various and quality forms of lifelong learning has become a reality for all its citizens.
Strategic objectives and progress indicators:

  • Increase the share of the children covered by preschool education and training from age 4 until first grade enrolment age from 87.8% in 2012 to 90% in 2020;
  • Reduce the share of early leavers from the educational system aged 18-24 from 12.5% in 2012 to less than 11% in 2020;
  • Reduce the share of 15-year olds with poor achievements in:
    • reading – from 39.4% in 2012 to 30% in 2020;
    • mathematics – from 43.8% in 2012 to 35% in 2020;
    • natural sciences – from 36.9% in 2012 to 30.0% in 2020;
  • Increase the share of those attaining professional qualification degrees in the broad areas of Informatics, Technical Equipment, Manufacturing and Processing, and Architecture and Construction to at least 60% in 2020;
  • Increase the share of those completing higher education aged 30-34 from 26.9% in 2012 to 36% in 2020; 
  • Increase the employment rates of the population aged 20-64 from 63% in 2012 to 76% in 2020;   
  • Increase the participation of the populace aged 25-64 in education and training from 1.5% in 2012 to more than 5% in 2020 (a 4-week reference period);
  • Reduce the share of illiterate persons:
    • among persons aged 15-19 from 2.0% in 2011 to 1.5% in 2020;
    • among persons aged 20-29 – from 2.3% in 2011 to 1.5% in 2020.

Priorities

A step forward to a new educational approach and innovations in education and training. Setting up a coordinated and change-adaptable system of education and training, which covers learning in all its forms. Application of an educational approach supporting the development of all learners and contributing towards development of thinking, capable, and proactive individuals able to handle changes and uncertainty.

Increasing the quality of education and training

The main challenge is to organize the education and training and align them towards attainment of the key competences by all learners. To achieve this objective and turn into a fundament of the educational process more focus should be placed on the acquisition of basic skills such as competences in the mother tongue to achieve functional literacy, literacy in the area of mathematics and natural sciences, technological and digital literacy, as well as foreign language communication skills. At the same time, higher quality of teaching must be ensured, a crucial prerequisite, which required effective basic qualification and ongoing, continued qualification of teachers and educators. Another important prerequisite is to transform the profession of teacher and educator into an attractive career choice through all expedient means and tools. Governance of the education and training institutions must be improved in order for effective and flexible quality assurance systems to be elaborated. It is essential to upgrade the funding system as a tool to ensure the efficiency of primary and continuing education and training through the shared and balanced responsibility between the government, the employers, and the learners.

Ensuring the educational environment for equal access to lifelong learning and for active social inclusion and active citizen participation. Set up a harmonious and diverse academic environment for those coming from vulnerable groups, including, inter alia, children, students, and adults with special educational needs and chronic conditions, as well as disadvantaged ones, in view of ensuring equality and access to high-quality education and training, more complete preparation for the future social life and success on the labour market. Special attention must be paid to training the young people for tolerant interaction with their peers of different ethnic origin and to promoting the democracy values associated with respect for the basic rights and zero tolerance to all forms of discrimination.

Promoting education and training aligned to the needs of the economy and changes on the labour market. One of the foremost challenges is to promote attainment by all citizens of universal key competences, such as learning skills, proactiveness, and enterprise, and cultural awareness, as well as the so-called „soft skills” such as skills for teamwork, decision-making, conflict resolution, etc. Another challenge is to ensure a fully operational knowledge triangle: education — research — innovations. 

Coordination, monitoring, reporting and funding. Implementation of the National Strategy for Lifelong Learning is based on the following implementation entities and instruments:

National Lifelong Learning Council at the Council of Ministers as a strategic group to coordinate implementation. The National Lifelong Learning Council carries out coordination and consultation among the central government bodies, local government bodies, trade unions on a national level, and employer organizations on a national level for implementation of the national lifelong learning policy. It is presided by the Minister of Education and Science.

Action Plans for implementation of the Strategy

Multi-tier level of coordination and monitoring of the process through the National Lifelong Learning Platform 2020. It is an electronic tool for coordinating and reporting the implementation of the National LLL Strategy.  The platform provides transparency of the fulfilment of the commitments undertaken by the various government institutions, social partners and non-governmental organizations, as well as provides an opportunity to monitor process and revised any of the measures when non-implementation is threatened. 


Annual monitoring to determine the degree of implementation and monitor effectiveness. Implementation of the National Strategy for Lifelong Learning for the period 2014-2020 is based on the actions plans adopted by the Council of Ministers, the fixed operational objectives and main stages, which are subject to annual monitoring for purposes of timely detection of difficulties relating to the implementation and taking into account any changes in the challenges. 

Annual report to the Council of Ministers on:
a) the implementation’s status;
b) any problems found;
c) newly arisen needs to adapt or expand in terms of the objectives and measures;
d) cooperation among various participants as part of the governance approach.

Communication plan for interaction among the stakeholders.

Responsible authorities and coordinating bodies:

  • Ministry of Education and Science;
  • National Council for Lifelong Learning supported cooperation, implemented the coordination and conducted public consultation between the national authorities, the local authorities, the representative organizations of the workers and the employees at national level / trade unions, the representative organizations of the employers and non-government organizations, which work in the field of adult learning.
  • National Coordination Group for AL (strategic support to National Coordinator) – chaired by NC/Ministry
  • Bulgarian National Coordinator  for Adult learning;
  • District coordinators in all the 28 districts of the country were nominated. 

The schools for adults were unified in a national network. In Bulgaria was not created a National Agency for Lifelong Learningation 
National qualification framework was adopted with Decision № 96 of Council of Ministries on 02.02.2012 г.

Full texts of the National qualification framework, action plans and Report on the implementation in 2014 of the National Strategy for Lifelong Learning 2014-2020 are available in Bulgarian for the following texts:
National qualification framework
Action Plan for 2014 in implementing the National Strategy for Lifelong Learning 2014-2020
Action Plan for 2015 in implementing the National Strategy for Lifelong Learning 2014-2020
Report on the implementation in 2014 of the National Strategy for Lifelong Learning 2014-2020