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School and Preschool Education Act (Закона за училищното и предучилищното образованиe), school and school education is aimed inter alia at ensuring:
- Obtaining competences necessary for successful personal and professional realisation and active civil life in modern communities;
- Obtaining competences to apply the sustainable development principles;
- Obtaining competences to understand and apply the principles of democracy and constitutional state, of human rights and freedoms, of active and responsible civil participation;
- Establishing tolerance and respect to ethnical, cultural, language and religious identity of every citizen;
- Establishing tolerance and respect to the rights of children, students and people with disabilities;
- Obtaining competences to understand global processes, trends and their interrelations.
General education at school is equal for all types of schools and is obtained by studying the same general education subjects. General education is obtained in the course of the entire school training and covers the following groups of key competences:
- competences in the field of Bulgarian language;
- skills to communicate in foreign languages;
- mathematic competence and major competences in the field of natural sciences and technologies;
- digital competence;
- learning skills;
- social and civil competences;
- initiative and entrepreneurship;
- cultural competence and skills for expression through creativity;
- skills for sustainable development and healthy lifestyle.
Above key competences are interrelated and represent a set of knowledge, skills and attitudes required for the personal development of an individual through the lifetime, for establishment of active civil position and participation in social life, and for individual’s fitness for realisation at the labour market.
Critical thinking, problem solutions, initiative, creativity, taking responsibility, teamwork, are all competences that are obtained through the study of all general education subjects.
The promotion of sustainable development principles, including environmental, economic and social dimensions and aimed at outlining a long-term vision of society is ensured through the study of varied subjects and is aimed at developing skills for taking personal responsibility for the sustainable future.
The following campaigns and many other initiatives were organised in 2018 through which the Council of Children members make their peers aware of their rights and how to spend their leisure time usefully:
- City of Games
- Week of Healthy Nutrition
- Healthy and Safe Summer
- Life without Violence for all Children under the moto #ACT!
- Week of Tolerance (12-16 November)
- Week of Child’s Rights (19-23 November),
At the beginning of February the International Day of Safe Internet was celebrated together with the Council of Children. In 15 districts across the country the children from the Council organised events dedicated on safe internet. With the support of the Bulgarian National Television and the Fight against Organised Crime General Directorate at the Ministry of Interior (Генерална дирекция „Борба с организираната престъпност“ на МВР) a movie on this topic was presented and issues about safety of children on the internet and online safety were discussed.
In 2017, together with Italy and Latvia, Bulgaria was part of the second group of countries that implemented pilot projects with the support of the Council of Europe for assessment of child participation in accordance with the Council of Europe Child Participation Assessment Tool. The successful implementation of this project in Bulgaria increased the awareness of child participation and after the initial assessment of the status, the project outlined the good practices and identified measures for better compliance with the requirements of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The assessment results show that Bulgaria has established and develops policies and mechanisms aimed at facilitating the inclusion of children in public life, legislation and all other processes that affect them. The Child Protection State Agency (Държавна агенция за закрила на детето) whose mission is to ensure the right of young people to express their opinion plays a key role in encouraging young people’s participation in the processes of policy development, implementation and monitoring.
For the purposes of ensuring sustainability of measures undertaken under Environment Operational Program 2014-2020, three big initiatives were organised, including Green Olympiad. 1 400 students from 25 schools competed in environment quizzes, and more than 5 000 people participated in the online edition of the contest.
In 2018 the information centers within the system of the Ministry of Environment and Water (33) significantly increased their activity. All of them organise information and educational initiatives for increasing environmental mind and culture of different social groups, publish information materials and carry out training programs in partnership with institutions and nongovernmental organisations in different regions. During the year they have organised 11 national and 14 regional information and educational programs for improvement of environmental mind and culture of young people and various initiatives in partnership with institutions, business and nongovernmental organisations in different regions.
The Ministry of Education and Science develops, updates and promotes information database in the field of civic education, health education, sustainable development education, prevention of violence through the development of curricula and educational materials, collection and introduction of products and good practices as a result of implemented projects. It further supports the interaction between the educational, family, institutional and social environment and carries out activities in the area of civic, health and sustainable development education through cooperation and partnership between teachers, parents, students and representatives of organisations and institutions external for the school.
The Ministry of Environment and Water actively participates in the process of encouraging non-formal education for environment protection. It publishes educational materials and carries out national campaigns for protection of environment included in the National Calendar of the Ministry of Education and Science for out-of-class and out-of-school activities (Национален календар на Министерството на образованието и науката за извънкласните и извънучилищни дейности). The centers on the territory of Pirin National Park (НП „Пирин“) have organised 128 interactive activities with the participation of more than 4800 children and young people, and 8 educational excursions with more than 200 students from different cities.
In 2018, the campaigns and initiatives of the Ministry of Environment and Water have involved 36 700 children and students from about 700 schools and preschools across the country. To a great extent these initiatives facilitate the establishment of more attractive and favourable environment at school, for increasing students’ interest in collective school life and for development of teamwork skills.
HRDC funds projects for capacity building in the field of youth aimed at a number of fields promoting the cooperation between organisations active in the field of youth, education, training and other socioeconomic sectors from different regions of the world. Such projects are aimed at recognizing and improving the youth work, non-formal education and volunteering and at establishing the connection between them and the educational systems and the employment markets. Furthermore, they support schemes for regional and international informal mobility for educational purposes aimed at encouraging young people’s participation in the society.
The strategic goals of the National Youth Program /2016-2020/ (Национална програма за младежта /2016-2020/) are achieved through the following activities:
Strategic goal: Facilitating the access to high quality service for special support and full-value personal and social development of young people in accordance with their needs and interests.
- Establishment of a network of youth information and consultative centers (YICC) providing high quality services for young people;
- Provision of consultancy services and trainings in support of personal and social development of young people, including for developing vital skills, as well as services for organization of young people’s leisure time.
- Development and recognition of youth work.
Strategic goal: Promoting healthy lifestyle among young people
- Carrying out campaigns and initiatives aimed at development of knowledge and skills for healthy lifestyle, safe conduct and avoiding practices harmful for the health;
- Providing opportunities for training of young people on health, sports and physical activity issues, including by developing the peer-to-peer learning approach.
Strategic goal: Developing volunteer activities among young people as a driver for personal development, mobility, learning, competitive power, social cohesion, solidarity between generations and formation of civic self-awareness.
- Introducing and maintaining efficient practices for work with young volunteers, their training, encouragement, monitoring and assessment of their work, and recognition of their achievements.
- Organising the participation of young people in volunteering initiatives;
- Establishment of youth volunteering standards and public control in protection of young volunteers;
- Carrying out campaigns and initiatives for promotion of youth volunteering in society.
Strategic goal: Ensuring opportunities for overall participation of young people in social life and for their cohesion to the main democratic values and standards.
- Improving young people’s awareness with regard to EU policies and their implementation at national level;
- Organising campaigns and initiatives on topical issues in pursuance of the EU and Council of Europe policies for young people.
Strategic goal: Creating attractive environment for development of young people in small towns and in rural areas.
- Introduction of mobile forms of youth and social work for young people from small towns, remote and hardly accessible areas;
- Ensuring efficient access to information, training and consultations of young people in small towns and rural areas;
- Promotion of initiatives of young people in small towns and rural areas.
Strategic goal: Creating favourable, encouraging and supporting environment for professional realisation of young people in Bulgaria.
- Promotion of social entrepreneurship among young people.