Ministry of Education and Science
2A Knyaz Dondukov Blvd.
- The organisation
- Work programme
- The team
- Adult Learning in the country
- National Stakeholders
The functions of a National Support Service to the Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe (EPALE) in Bulgaria are carried out by the Ministry of Education and Science (MES).
The Minister of Education and Science implements the state policy and develops a strategy for the development of the education and science in accordance with the European policy. The Minister of Education and Science also:
- Organizes the development and implementation of the national programs for development of the secondary and higher education and programs for training and retraining;
- Coordinates the implementation of the national programs and projects for scientific research and development of the scientific potential according to the trends of development of science in the country and abroad;
- Coordinates the implementation of the social policy on the issues related to employment and income levels in the field of education and science;
- Manages and organizes the implementation and functioning of the information technologies in the education and science;
- Organizes the activities of the Managing Authority of Operational Programme "Science and Education for Smart Growth 2014 - 2020";
- Represents the Republic of Bulgaria at the conclusion of international agreements for cooperation in the field of education and science and coordinates their implementation within the delegated by the Council of Ministers competences;
The Ministry of Education and Science is the National Coordinator for the Implementation of the European Agenda for Adult Learning in Bulgaria.
In 2017 and 2018 the National Support Service for EPALE (NSS) in Bulgaria shall pursue the following objectives:
- Promotion of the active participation in the platform of the professional community in the adult learning sector;
- Provision of high quality content in the multilingual, dynamic and innovative EPALE platform.
The EPALE target group are the professionals who formulate and assess the adult learning policy, including those who organize, fund or deliver adult education and learning, namely:
- Politicians and experts from governmental institutions, developing and implementing policies in the field of education, employment, social inclusion, culture, etc.;
- Organizations for adult education and learning (schools, training centers, NGOs, cultural institutions, etc.) and the educators working at them;
- Universities / research institutions and organizations;
- Municipal administrations and local authorities;
- Media / journalists.
NSS – Bulgaria will carry out the following activities:
- Promotion of the platform, attracting and involving users
In the framework of this work package, the primary activities to be organized by the NSS are, as follows:
- two information stands for promotion of EPALE, in October 2017 and October 2018, respectively;
- two regional conferences and four round tables for discussion of priority topics in the adult learning sector; as well as four discussion panels in the social networks or on the website of the national coordinator;
- information seminar for journalists of regional and local media;
- a competition for the best photograph on the EPALE topic;
- creation of a video clip with the message “Join us”;
- enhancement and support of the profiles of EPALE in Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, including conducting a marketing campaign;
- National closing forum at the end of 2018.
- Contribution to the platform’s content
To ensure the quality of the materials published on the platform an editorial board of members of the National Support Service will be set up. To be published on a monthly basis: at least five resources, two events for the calendar, one blog article and four news. Links to the published materials will be provided in 24 monthly bulletins.
In the spring of 2017 four trainings will be organized aimed at encouraging teachers/trainers of adults to create content. The best “small stories” written by learners will be published in EPALE.
- Animation of online communities and interactive sections
On the last Thursday of every month NSS will hold virtual consultancies for use of the platform (a virtual classroom). Additionally, a specialized online form will be designed for requesting further advice for the various stakeholders, as well as a permanent forum will be organized on the website of the National Coordinator for implementation of the European Agenda for Adult Learning.
Animated banners will be placed on the official websites of at least 50 institutions and organizations on regional and local level for direct connection with the EPALE platform.
- Support of the webpage of the NSS
The information in the “Adult training in the country” section of the webpage of NSS – EPALE will be updated in June 2017 and June 2018. Files will be published with videos in Bulgarian and English language for promotion of the platforms, series of clips in Bulgarian illustrating the use of the EPALE platform, the rules and requirements for participation in the competition for the best photograph, the monthly newsletters of the NSS.
- Support of multilingualism
In support of multilingualism NSS will provide translation from Bulgarian into foreign languages of at least 20 materials (resources and blog articles).
72 blog articles will be translated into Bulgarian throughout the project duration, many content resources, as well as all newsletters of the EPALE Central Support Service
NSS Bulgaria will participate actively in the joint implementation of EPALE by proposing new ideas and initiatives for topics/discussions through groups, blogs or other actions of EPALE.
EPALE National Support Service
Valentina Deykova – Project Manager - firstname.lastname@example.org
Zhuliyan Gochev – Promotion of the platform, organization of events and cooperation with other organizations - email@example.com
Iliana Taneva – Provision of content and translations - firstname.lastname@example.org
Rumyana Kostadinova – Provision of content and participation in the implementation of the National Communication Strategy - email@example.com
Georgi Ninov - Providing multilingualism and liaising with the Central Support Service - firstname.lastname@example.org
Orlin Kuzov - Animation of online communities and interactive/social aspects of the platform, maintenance of profiles in social networks - email@example.com
Veselina Ganeva - Provision of content and participation in the implementation of the National Communication Strategy - firstname.lastname@example.org
Diana Traykova - email@example.com
Emilia Nikolova - Komitska - firstname.lastname@example.org
Magdalena Stanulova - Provision of content and participation in the implementation of the National Communication Strategy - email@example.com
Katya Stanoeva - Administrative issues - firstname.lastname@example.org
Iva Nikolova - Administrative issues - email@example.com
Petko Uzunski - Administrative issues - firstname.lastname@example.org
The Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria stipulates the right of all Bulgarian citizens to continuously improving their education and upskilling, regardless of their age.
Completion of primary and secondary education, incl. simultaneous attainment of secondary education and vocational qualification is free of charge for all adult learners.
Conditions are ensured for validation of knowledge, skills and competences achieved through non-formal and/or informal learning, as well as based on professional and/or practical experience.
Equal access is guaranteed for detainees (prisoners) to educational, training and qualification activities comprising of: general and vocational education and training, social education, literacy and vocational courses focused on the illiterate.
Adult education and learning takes place under different forms: daily, evening, part-time, individual, informal, distance.
Adult training is conducted at different institutions: evening schools, vocational secondary schools and colleges, schools with the correctional facilities (prisons), community centers, libraries, museums, etc.
The educational structure of the population at age 25-64 is constantly improving while keeping a clearly demonstrated trend of decrease of the share of people with primary and lower education. For the last seven years the relative share of the population with primary and lower education has decreased with 4 percentage points – from 22,1% in 2009 to 18,1% in 2015. According to that indicator Bulgaria ranks 14th among the EU Member States.
Regardless of the good regulatory provision and the variety of institutions, the adult learning sector is the worst developed within the general education and training system in Bulgaria.
In the school year 2016/17 the number of adults in formal education and training in Bulgaria according to data of the registers of the Ministry of Education and Science is 31 420 people which is 4.6% of all students in the formal educational system. 4159 persons are studying for completion of primary education (ISCED 2) or about 13%. The prevailing form of study is in the evening which involves 13 421 persons (about 43%), followed by part-time training – 9 561 (over 30%) and informal training for persons above 16 years of age – 8 486 (27%).
2015 sees a decline in the value of the indicator „Participation in lifelong learning (LLL) of the population of age 25-64 (four-week period)”. The positive change over the last years is terminated and the value has gone back to its 2013 level (2.0%). This is also the first negative change on an annual basis for the last 13 years. Bulgaria remains over 5 times below the average for the EU countries (28) and 2.5 times below the target value of 5% it has set for 2020. The review of the participants in LLL activities for the last 6 years by different age groups indicates that the most active group is the one of young people from на 25 to 34 years and the least active are the people over 45 years of age.
For 2015 the share of early school leavers (ESL) aged 18-24 for Bulgaria is 13.4%, a half percentage point higher than the previous year. This share indicates that approximately one in eight Bulgarian citizens at that age has left the educational system early before completing their secondary education and has not participated in any education or training during the 4-week monitoring period. For the sixth consecutive year there is an increasing difference between the value for Bulgaria and the average value of the EU 28 countries (10.9%), where for 2015 the ESL share in Bulgaria was with 2.2 percentage points higher than the EU average.
The young people in Bulgaria aged 15-24 who are not in work, education or training in 2015 are 132 782 of 687 990 in total or 19.3%. This places the country in second position among the 28 EU Member States where the average share for 2015 is 12,0 %. Still more worrying are the data indicating that for a tenth consecutive year Bulgaria holds the first place with a share of the young people aged 15-24 who have declared that they don’t look for and don’t want to look for a job and have not returned to the educational system– 9.0%, against an average figure for the EU (28) of 3,5%.
In 2015 the employment among the persons aged 20-64 has increased by 2.0 percentage points versus the previous year and has reached 67.1%. Although the employment rate remains lower than in the pre-crisis period (70.7% for 2008) and far below the target set in the National Development Programme: Bulgaria 2020 (76%), the rise in employment appears as a trend for the last five years. Compared to the previous year, the difference between the average employment level in the EU and Bulgaria has decreased from 4.1 percentage points to 3 percentage points and the distance between Bulgaria and EU has continued to decrease for a fifth consecutive year.
A major problem for securing the progress in the adult learning sector is the interaction between the stakeholders. During the last several years, in the framework of the EU project “National Coordinators for Implementation of the European Agenda for Adult Learning Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme” the efforts have been targeted at the formation of a coordinated policy on a national level and building sustainable mechanisms for local and regional initiation and management of adult education and learning policies. A national platform 2020 has been set up “United for Adult Learning” which includes: the National coordination group for lifelong learning, the municipal coordinators for adult learning, the National network of institutions for adult education and training.
The main strategic document formulating the objectives and impact areas for development of the adult learning sector in Bulgaria is the “National Strategy for Lifelong Learning for the period 2014 - 2020“:
The Employment Agency (EA)
The Employment Agency is an Executive Agency at the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and implements the state policy for increasing the employment.
The Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA)
The Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA) is a nationally represented employers' organization in Bulgaria. Established in 1996, it has a serious authority in the business community, the social partnership and in the public as a whole.
The Balkan Institute for Labour and Social Policy (BILSP)
The Balkan Institute for Labour and Social Policy (BILSP) is a non-governmental, voluntary, independent, non-political non-profit association, founded in September 2001.
The Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA)
The Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA) is a nationally represented employers' organization, established on 25 April 1980. It participates in the system of social dialogue at national and international level, where it defends the interests of the Bulgarian business when changes in the legislation and administrative practices take place.
The Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI)
The Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) (established in 1895) is a nationally represented employers' organization, which supports, promotes, represents and protects the economic interests of its members, contributing to the development of international economic cooperation and assisting for the European and international integration of the Republic of Bulgaria.
The Institute for the Study of Societies and Knowledge at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (ISSK – BAS)
The Institute for the Study of Societies and Knowledge at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (ISSK – BAS) was established in July 2010 by the General Assembly of the Academy as a successor to the Institute for Philosophical Research, The Institute of Sociology and the Center for Science Studies and History of Science.
The Institute for Social Integration (ISI)
The Institute for Social Integration (ISI) is an NGO established in 2002. Leading experts are amongst its founders - sociologists, political scientists, psychologists, lawyers, diplomats, economists, journalists. What unites them is the importance of the problems of integration and disintegration in our society; the topics of overcoming the social and economic disruption, alienation and social vulnerability. The main aspects of the work of the Institute are: trainings, research and scientific work, monitoring, discussion forums and publishing activities.
Confederation of Labour Podkrepa (CL Podkrepa)
Confederation of Labour Podkrepa (CL Podkrepa) is a nationally represented organization of employees in Bulgaria. Full members of the CL Podkrepa are national federations and national unions, as well as regional trade unions.
The Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria (CITUB)
The Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria (CITUB) is a nationally represented organization of employees, being the largest public organization in Bulgaria. It has more than 350 000 Bulgarian employees and has its own collective management bodies.
The Confederation of the Employers and Industrials in Bulgaria (CEIBG)
The Confederation of the Employers and Industrials in Bulgaria (CEIBG) is a nationally represented employers' organization, which unites more than 10 500 companies, collective and individual members. The mission of CEIBG is to be effective in improving the business climate in the country; to assist its members in sharing best business practices; to increase the competitiveness of the Bulgarian economy.
Ministry of Agriculture and Food
The Ministry of Agriculture and Food (MAF) implements the state policy in the field of agricultural science and vocational education and training in agriculture.
Ministry of Economy and Energy
The Ministry of Economy and Energy (MEE) develops, organizes, coordinates and monitors the implementation of state policy in the field of economy, energy and tourism.
Ministry of Culture
The Ministry of Culture (MC) develops, organizes, coordinates and monitors the implementation of the state policy in the field of culture.
Ministry of Youth and Sports
The Ministry of Youth and Sports (MYS) carries out the state policy in the field of youth, sport and social tourism.
Ministry of Education and Science
The Ministry of Education and Science (MES) implements the state policy in the field of education and science. It develops and takes care of the implementation of concepts, strategies, programs and plans, in accordance with the national and European practice in the field of pre-school education, general education, vocational education and training, higher education and life-long learning. There are 28 Regional Education Inspectorates (territorial structures) responsible for the management and control of the state policy in the field of education on a local level. The Ministry of Education and Science is a National Coordinator for Adult Learning and National Support Service of EPALE.
Ministry of Defence
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is responsible for the implementation of the state policy in the field of defense.
Ministry of Labour and Social Policy
The Ministry of Labour and Social Policy (MLSP) implements the state policy in the field of labour market, training of the workforce and integration of disadvantaged groups into the labor market.
National Agency for Vocational Education and Training
The National Agency for Vocational Education and Training (NAVET) is a state authority for licensing the activities in the vocational education and training system and coordination of the institutions involved in vocational guidance, training and education.
National Institute for Education and Training in the Education System
The National Institute for Education and Training in the Education System supports the implementation of the government policy in the sphere of secondary education.
The National Youth Forum
The National Youth Forum (NYF) is the largest formal platform of youth organizations in Bulgaria, uniting 35 non-governmental youth organizations.
The National Statistical Institute
The National Statistical Institute (NSI) carries out the statistical activities of the state by conducting periodic and one-off statistical surveys included in the National Statistical Programme.
Sofia Municipality (SM) is the largest municipality in Bulgaria with a population of 1,302,316 people.
Centre for Human Resources Development
The Centre for Human Resources Development (HRDC) organizes, consults, coordinates and carries out projects and studies in the field of education, vocational education and training, labor market and human resources in Bulgaria.