6.10 Current debates and reforms
Forthcoming policy developments
Since January 2021, on the Public Consultations Portal (Портал за обществени консултации (strategy.bg)) there is an open debate for the Digital Qualification National Program.
The Digital Qualification National Program meets the need of targeted effors and investments for ensuring high quality of preparation of school and university students, teachers and lecturers with view of the digital transformation of education.
The program is aimed at lecturers from the state higher education establishments accredited under the Higher Education Act, at teachers in secondary schools and at representatives of the business who are willing to start practicing teacher and lecturer activity. This will ensure enough staff for the education system who have high level of digital competence and who are motivated to improve it throughout their professional life. This will also contribute to the reinforcement of the connection between education, researches, employers and various institutions in the education system, including at European level, in the field of digital technologies and artificial intelligence.
For the purposes of achieving the objectives of the national program, qualification trainings of teachers, lecturers and business representatives will be organised. In order to improve the team interactions between lecturers, qualification trainings in the context of competence approach will be organised. Existing and future lecturers and teachers in subjects, disciplines and modules related to the work in digital environment, as well as business representatives who are willing to start teacher and lecturer career will be a priority group of the program.
In May 2020, the National Youth Forum (NYF) (Национален младежки форум) – the biggest youth platform in Bulgaria with more than 50 member organisations countrywide, sent the Minister of Education and Science an open letter on the role of non-formal learning and youth organisations in the achievement of learning results. With this letter, NYF and another 11 youth NGOs – members of NYF, working with non-formal learning methods, expressed their readiness to help for overcoming the consequences of the changes and measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With their letter, the authors of the letter called for:
- Recognition of youth organisations and youth work as key providers of trainings in the field of non-formal learning – proven method for personal development and acquisition of knowledge, skills and competences;
- Involvement of youth organisations and all nongovernmental organisations and youth workers active in the field of non-formal learning, for the purposes of facilitating the process of overcoming the challenges in the education system through consultations and provision of innovative methods from long-term practice with young people;
- Development and application of standards in the education system on formal and non-formal trainings for acquisition of knowledge, skills and competences, together with representatives of nongovernmental organisations working the field;
- Recognition of the Council of Europe’s standards on non-formal learning for the purposes of ensuring adequate and quality environment and infrastructure for the effectiveness of the education system, especially in the current Covid-19-related situation.