6.7 Skills for innovation
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Available data show that Bulgaria continues to have one of the highest percentage of graduates in social sciences, business and law, while the number of graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) remains low, according to the Education and Training Monitor 2019 of the European Commission.
According to the School and Preschool Education Act (Закон за предучилищното и училищното образование) (effective from 01.08.2016, last amendment and supplement of 18 September 2020) innovative schools are schools that achieve improvement of the quality of education by:
1. developing and implementing innovative elements in terms of organization and/or content of education;
2. organise the management, education and school environment in a new or improved way;
3. use new teaching methods;
4. develop education content, programs and curricula in a new way.
The government grants BGN 20 million (about EUR 10 million) for the National Program “Establishment of STEM School Environment” (Национална програма „Изграждане на училищна STEM среда“). The funds are used for establishment and equipment of advanced centers at schools that develop innovations in the field of natural sciences, digital technologies, engineering and mathematics. 113 state and municipal schools will receive grants under this program in 2021. In 2020 the funds were allocated among 153 schools. The STEM centers are a learning model that facilitates mathematics and natural sciences training.