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

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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

2017

(January - March)

MES has developed 92 versions of the framework curricula for initial and continuing vocational education and training for acquiring professional qualification degree for students and people over the age of 16. Framework Programmes that were uploaded within on the website of the Ministry of Education during the month of March 2017, and standards for acquisition of professional qualifications are the basis for the development of generic curricula for occupations, and then for a school curriculum. The programs allows student began training in a profession in the next stage to be continued their studies in another profession in the same professional field that is looking more on the labor market.

The Framework Programmes are for young people that enter to the vocational secondary schools and classes in VIII class in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. Those that have already started their professional training earlier will finish in existing curricula.

Framework Programmes regulate incoming age and educational and qualification level of applicants, contents and duration of vocational education and training. They are designed for daytime, evening, part-time and dual system of education. They are specified minimum number of hours for the types of vocational training throughout the training period. Are fixed the necessary hours for general, sectoral and specific vocational training - theory and practice of the profession.

School hours for extended and additional training can be used for acquisition of knowledge and skills about the specifics of each specialty of the profession, as well as the introduction of new technologies, materials and equipment.

As of 15 September 2017 over 400 vocational schools will conducts training according to new curricula. They will be prepared with the active participation of businesses, social partners, principals and teachers. The aim is content to meet the requirements of the labor market.

2016

(January - March)

The development of the draft Law on Amendment and Supplement of the Law on Vocational Education and Training has started. It envisages the implementation of a new structure of the vocational education and training and expansion of the range of opportunities for acquiring degrees of professional qualification of students and persons aged 16.

In line with the upcoming amendments to the draft Law on Amendment and Supplement of the Law on Vocational Education and Training an updated list of professions for vocational education and training is being drafted. The Framework Programmes are being updated.

Approaches for the realization of training etc. "Protected professions" are being developed. They will be tested in four pilot branch numbers of sectors in order to stimulate education and training in priority economic areas.

Operations under the "Science and education for smart growth" were being launched, associated with providing grants for:

  • establishment of a national system for accumulation and transfer of credits in vocational education and training;
  • increasing the number of adults passed through literacy courses.

Judgment of the Council of Ministers for adoption of the Action Plan for 2016 to implementation of the National Strategy for Lifelong Learning 2014 - 2020 has been drafted.. The plan includes activities directed towards all areas of learning, covering the various stages of personal development - pre-school and school education, vocational education and training, higher education, continuing adult education, validation of results of informal learning and informal learning.

2015

(June - September)

On Aug. 4 the Managing Committee of “National Coordinators for the Implementation of the European Agenda for Adult Learnign” met to present the results of the intermediary monitoring, covering the period between Nov. 1 2014 and Jul. 1 2015. It presented the following activities, which have national significance:

Activity 1: Improving monitoring and the database in the Lifelong Learning Sector in Bulgaria:
  • An analysis of the current state of the national system for lifelong learning was carried out;
  • The functionality of the National Information System for Adult Learning as well as its databases were improved;
  • A nationwide electronic platform for monitoring and reporting of the progress of the National Strategy for Lifelong Learning (2014-2020) was developed;
Activity 2: Creating conditions for multi-level cooradination of the Lifelong Learning sector.

Activity 3: Popularize the meaning of Lifelong Learning were held:
  • Days of Lifelong Learning were held;
  • Informational materials, as well as European and national Lifelong Learning documents, were distributed;
  • A conference titled “Bulgaria’s contribution to the European Lifelong Learning strategy” was held;
Activity 4: Studying best practices for implementing the priorities of the European Program for Lifelong Learning, based on the experience of other EU members. 

(March - May)

Reforms that happened timeframe include:

1. Developing of a draft for Methodology for the preparation of an Annual Monitoring Report on the implementation of the National Strategy for lifelong learning for the period 2014-2020 and approval by the members of the National Coordination Group for lifelong learning. National strategy for lifelong learning includes a special section on the adult learning - deadline 31/03/2015

2. Publication of the  Methodology for the preparation of an annual monitoring report on the website of the Ministry of Education and Science – deadline 01.04.2015

3. Preparation of basic performance parameters of the activities and tasks in the fields of impact plans in implementing the National Strategy for lifelong learning and their publication on the Ministry of Education and Science – deadline 31.03.2015

4. Draft of the Annual monitoring report on implementation of the National Strategy for lifelong learning and agreed by to National coordination group for lifelong learning – deadline 15.05.2015

5. Preparation a package of documents for a Decision of the Council of Ministers for adoption of the Annual Monitoring Report on the implementation of the National Strategy for Lifelong Learning. It is published on the website of the Ministry of Education and Science and the Portal for public discussion of the Council of Ministers – deadline 20.05.2015 – 31.05.2015

The Annual Monitoring Report on the implementation of the National Strategy for lifelong learning giving an assessment of the implementation of plans, activities, tasks and indicators on impact areas (including adult learning) set out in the Strategic Document. The main aim of the national policy for adult learning is to enhance the participation of adults in the lifelong learning process through improved interaction and mobilization of all stakeholders. The National policy of adult sets out the strategic framework of the government’s policy in education and training during the period, which aims at achieving the European goal for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Being targeted efforts to develop specific monitoring tools for monitoring and scaling of the progress in the field of adult learning. The goal is to create conditions for decision making in the field of education and training for adults, by developing tools for monitoring and evaluation system for evaluation and analysis and national informational system with a database. These mechanisms are/constitute the bridge between the policy and practice in the adult learning sector. It will ensure the national and international trust through the interpretation of facts and numbers into conclusions and outcomes, which will help the decision - making process, considering the problems of the education and training of adults. An advisory process was set up, in which potentially engaged institutions of national and regional level taking part, as well as a wide range of participants in the field of adult learning, through organization of electronic forum. Trainings for implementation of the mechanism for policy monitoring were provided for representatives of ministries, agencies, district administrations and social partners.

(January - March)

The Council of Ministers adopted adopted an Action Plan for the execution of the National Strategy for Life Long Learning (2014 - 2020). Among the important aspects of the Action Plan are the following:

  • Preparation for the implementation of ECVET (European Credit System for Vocational Education & Training). Special events called "Days of the Vocational Education & Training) will be organized to increase the popularity of the system;
  • There will be an increase in the number of people reached by the programmes aiming to increase adult literacy, so that their number reaches 16 000 by the end of 2015;
  • The percentage of children with special educational needs will be increased to 2%;
  • Special measures have been envisioned aiming to decrease the number of early school leavers by providing a supportive environment for those most at risk of leaving the system prematurely.
  • There will be an increase in internship opportunities for the unemployed

The outcomes of the Action Plan will be measured and evaluated with the help of an electronic platform.

The Government and the European commission adopted the "Science and education for smart growth" Operational Programme which will be "one of the key instruments for achieving the targets adopted by Bulgaria under Europe 2020" and will propose solutions for:

  • Boosting Bulgaria's scientific, research and innovation capacity as prerequisites for smart economic growth;
  • Expanding access to quality education so citizens can be part of the inclusive economy;

2014

(October - December)

In October the government approved the updated National Strategy for the Development of Scientific Research in Bulgaria, as well as the Action Plan covering the period 2015 – 2020.

The update is based on the results of the realization of Operational Programme „Development of the Competitiveness of the Bulgarian Economy” (2007 – 2013), as well as a public discussion in the scientific community.

Some of the main barriers to the development of scientific research were identified as follows:

  • The lack of sustainability and ability to forecast investments in scientific research;
  • The lack of adequate policies of financing scientific research and directing scientific potential towards priority fields;
  • Low financing rate of scientific research via dedicated programs.

In October the government adopted a Strategy for the Development of Vocational Education and Training in Bulgaria for the period 2015 – 2020.

The main goals of the Strategy are to prepare highly qualified staff to be employed by businesses, to prevent early school leaving among children from economically disadvantaged families, as well as to allow adults to receive professional qualifications in vocational schools and training centers.

The Strategy envisions providing quality training through education and work experience, thanks to a partnership between vocational school or training centers and one or several employers. This will increase employment opportunity after the training is over.

An important measure in the Strategy is the development of a credit system, which will facilitate the acquisition and recognition of professional skills.

An Action Plan will be developed within six months which will point out responsible institutions, funding methods, as well as expected results. The Plan will be updated every 2 years.

(June - October)

The Project of National Strategy for Promoting and Improving Literacy (2014-2020) was published for a discussion. The Strategy will be involved in the new Govenment agenda.

Literacy is a fundamental human right and an essential factor for personal and public prosperity. It is critical to the ability of people to develop as a person to learn through whole life and to participate fully in society.

The Strategy introduces the concept of "literacy", which means language literacy, namely on the base of reading literacy (skills for reading and writing), but with the other two skills – for listening and speaking.

The components of initial literacy is the ability to read, ability to write and the ability to understand the sense of reading and writing - skills that should be acquired in the first grade in accordance with the planned national curriculum requirements.

The dropout and early leaving school as a processes are in direct correlation with the acquisition of functional literacy, and as a consequence - to improve the socio-economic factors and ultimately - economic growth. The base is in the kindergarten. 

In the international study PIRLS carried out in 2011 the reading literacy is considered the dependence of the achievements of children and duration of visits to pre-primary school (ISCED Level 0). The results show that there is a clear correlation between the achievments of children and their participation in pre-primary school education, which is very typical for Bulgaria.

(March - June)


Through the implementation of the system for validation a chance will be given to the unemployed, non-graduated or busy people to validate their skills and competence in different areas.

The project "New opportunity for my future" is carried by the Ministry of Education with the support of the National Agency for Vocational Education and Training and aims to establish a system of validating the knowledge and skills acquired in life, at work or through the practice of a hobby for which people do not possess a document for professional qualification. 

A focus of the bill for changes in the Law for Professional Development and Training is the development of a System for validation of unformally acquired knowledge, skills and competences through a normative regulation of the opportunity for anyone to receive a document for professional knowledge, skills and competence. The project is funded by OP "Human Resource Development" and co-funded by the European Social Fund and estimates a total of 5 862 200 BGN.

At this moment the results of the project show that since the initiation in 2014 over 7500 bulgarians have been consulted for an opportunity of the validation of their skills acquired in an informal and independent way. 

2013

The National Youth Strategy (2014-2020) – the strategy calls for:

  • promoting economic activity and career development of young people;
  • improving the access to information and quality services, promoting healthy way of living;
  • preventing social exclusion of young people with fewer opportunities;
  • development of youth volunteering;
  • raising citizens’ proactivity, providing opportunities for personal development of young people in small towns and rural areas;
  • development of international and intercultural dialogue and raising the role of young people in preventing crime.

The full text of the Strategy is available here

The National Strategy on Lifelong Learning (2014 – 2020) – one of the main priorities of the strategy are:

  • development of integrated system, encompassing all stages (preschool, school, higher education and adult leaning) and forms (formal, non-formal and informal) of education and training, allowing for applying flexible learning pathways. 
  • improving quality of teaching through ensuring efficient initial qualification and continuous training of teachers;
  • acquisition of key competences such as “learn to learn”, entrepreneurship, initiative, teamwork, conflict resolution, decision taking. 

The full text of the Strategy is available here