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Bulgaria:Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

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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

2014

(October - December)

The National Assembly elected the new government of Bulgaria on November 7, 2014. 

The project of the new Act of pre-primary and school education is introduced in the National Assembly on 21.11.2014. 

In the project is introduced a new understanding, new vision of educational standards with a focus on achieving the goals and targets – a complex of compulsory requirements for the results in the system of pre-primary and school education, and the conditions and processes to achieve them. It is introduced a new educational structure in the school education system for clarity and orderliness - basic degree in two stages: primary (I - IV grade) and pre-secondary (V - VII grade), and moderate with two stages: the first high school (VIII – X grade) and a second high school (XI and XII grade).

Gradually will be implemented a full-day organization of the school day and from V to VII grade as a tool for prevention of dropping out of school, identification, development and satisfaction of talents, interests and needs of students, providing specialist care in their preparation.

Provides autonomy of schools to develop curricula, educational programs expanded and additional training as well as to distribute the curriculum within the relevant stage, depending on the needs of students.

Create opportunities for validation of competencies in non-formal education and informal learning as part of the educational process. It develops self, individual, remote and combined forms of training. The goal is: more opportunities for access to education for different categories of persons and drop-out prevention and early leaving from the education system.

The project contents a system for training teachers.

External evaluation of the quality of education will be carried out by the National Education Inspectorate on the basis of objective criteria, grouped by areas, which will include the overall management of the school, the activities of pedagogical staff, the results and achievements of the students and their progress, as well as the support by learning problems, relationships with parents, representatives of local authorities and other stakeholders.

(June - October)

In the period from July to October Bulgaria was ruled by a government, appointed by the President of the Republic of Bulgaria. After the elections there'll be a new National Assembly and a new Council of Ministers.
The specifics of this period does not allow significant reforms in the education sector.
Forthcoming is the adoption of a new Law on pre-primary and school education by the new National Assembly. Some suggestions in it are discussed.

There are two main aspects related to pre-school education:

І. The implementing the National Programme for the Development of school and pre-primary education (2006-2015) requires development of:

1.Programs for pre-primary education in educational fields and age groups - 36 programs for four age groups, by 9 educational fields.
As of the 2003/04 school year attendance of preparatory group for the school is compulsory and since 2010 the age is extended from 5 to 7 years old children. This way the compulsory preparatory group begins 2 year before the enrollment to 1st grade in the school.

The compulsory pre-primary preparation for school follows and approved program, adopted since 2003 by 9 educational fields – Bulgarian language, developed on a module principle, which offers content suited to the educational needs of children (for children who have been attending kindergarten; for children who have not attended kindergarten prior to their enrolment in the preparatory group; for children whose mother tongue is other than Bulgarian and who have not attended kindergarten) as well as Mathematics, Social world, Natural world, Game culture, Artistic information and literature for children, Music, Arts, Construction-technical and every-day activities.
The programmes for the children from 3 to 4 and from 4 to 5 y. o. are not actualised for a long time.

The preparation of new contemporary programs as structure and content, which are related into a system along with the programs of the preparatory groups, is crucial for early childhood and care. On this way will be built a complete cycle in the area of early education.

2. Standardised set of instruments for diagnostics of school readiness

For the transition from pre-primary education to primary education and enrollment to the 1st grade the children receive a special document – Certificate for completion of the preparatory group in the kindergarten saying “Finished preparatory group in ….. year”, signed and stamped by the principal of the kindergarten. In this certificate are described the dynamics of development, as well as his/her readiness or his/her uncompleted preparation for the school and recommendations in which fields the child should be directed as additional forms and activities. The text is “After finishing of the preparatory group in the kindergarten the child is with completely readiness or incompletely readiness for the 1st grade in school”.

This certificate is registered officially in the documents of the kindergarten and is necessary to be present upon entrance in 1st grade in the primary school.

The diagnostics allows to be reflected the characteristics and identified particularities perspectives for development of each child. Based on the results can be planned the corrective work for every child. The use of diagnostic methods in education continues to expand in view of the requirements for an individual approach.

ІІ. Project of National Strategy for Promoting and Improving Literacy (2014-2020), 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.

Policy for children

Early childhood, the period from birth to six years, is essential for the accumulation of knowledge, skills and attitudes that affect on the learning in school. Early experiences that support the development of communication skills of children (as their awareness of verbal and non-verbal communication, knowledge of sound, pattern, rhythm and repetition, symbols, etc..) play a key role in the development of skills in reading and writing.

Very important in pre-primary age is the language development and its relationship to learning in school.
It is planned implementation of measures so that to be ensured pre-primary education in the high level.

Taking measures to improve the quality of pre-primary education are beneficial for all children, especially to those in disadvantaged but also and with special socio-economic status of migrant, from Roma background and those who have special educational needs.

To improve the coverage of pre-primary education, and to ensure its quality, it is necessary to pay serious attention to the involvement of the family as an active participant in pre-primary education through the implementation of a comprehensive approach to cooperation between home and educational institutions.
Early identification of language and learning difficulties will contribute not only to provide more effective support from teachers to deal with any difficulties in reading and writing, but also to ensure a smooth transition between pre-primary and primary school.

To achieve the objectives of this strategy need to be supported on the professionalism of the staff involved in pre-school education. Emphasis in this support needs to be placed on addressing the questions above challenges related to working with families, as well as diagnostics school readiness.

Indicators to measure the results of implementation
Increased share of covered kindergarten children from 4 years old to the enrolmen to 1st grade to 90% by 2020;
An increased proportion of children who at the end of the compulsory preparation for school reach school readiness in the area of their language development.

(March - June)

A new Operational Programme called "Science and education for intelligent growth" has been launched. Its goal is to establish a very clear bond between the politics realized in the spheres of scientific research, education and preschool education to the full spectrum of tools and measures realized by the Ministry of Education.

The new OP "Science and education for intelligent growth" comprises of three of the main thematic goals in the Partnership Agreement. Priority axis 1 "Scientific research and technological development" will be entirely financed by the European Regional Developement Fund. Priority axis 2 "Lifelong education and learning" and Priority axis 3 "Educational environment for an active social integration" will be financed by the European Social Fund. 

Regarding the first axis, funding will be for the creation of centres for peak acheivements in science and centres for competence. The idea is for the scientific infrastructure to receive most funding by the OP and give a bigger boost to Bulgarian scientific teams and organizations to participate in the realization of the separate schemes of the programme "Horizons 2020". For comparison, if this programme's budget is 555 million BGN along with national co-funding, the total budget of "Horizon 2020" is 80 billion euro. The idea is to give a boost to bulgarian scientific organizations in key directions and make them more competitive on an european or global scale.