Steps to reform the education sector and to accomplish European cooperation were presented by Todor Tanev , Minister of Education and Science at a press conference on March 23, 2015. “In the past 2 months the intensity of preparation and work on drafts of laws has increased”, reported Minister Tanev. This in turn allows larger debate on reforms ahead.
The Minister highlighted as priorities in this area to develop education system without dropouts, without violence, without distance between center and periphery, without unemployed university graduates. Prof. Tanev opposed tendencies toward science distanced from innovation and new technologies. According to the Minister the country needs a new educational system that is adequate to the XXI century and lead to a multiplier effect.
Prof. Todor Tanev reminded the support of the European partners, expressed in his talks with EU Commissioner for Education and Culture Tibor Navrachich and European Commissioner for Science, Research and Innovation Carlos Moedas. The Minister congratulated his team for their hard work that led to the final adoption of the Operational Programme “Science and education for smart growth.”
Prof. Tanev also reminded the 4 main work streams of Ministry’s team. On one hand it is to takine and coordinate joint actions of all educational institutions, parents ‘organizations and other public institutions in order to enhance school safety, to limit students’ access to drugs and to criminalize attacks on teachers. In this regard, the Minister declared zero tolerance to any violence in school.
At the same time the team of the Ministry of Education aims to work for activation of corporate economic responsibility and create traditions to promote patronage in the field of education. Based on the development of information and communication technologies, an educational plan is also being prepared and will be approbated. The Ministry plans pilot projects in this regard to start first in northwestern Bulgaria and later in the whole country.
As a fourth priority the Minister sees the change in current 2-level system with a new 4-level education system. It should cover the following stages and correspond to the requirements of the new Operational Programme “Science and education for smart growth”: Pre-school and school education; College education – Integral start after post-secondary education with elements of higher education which to end with Master degree; Higher education with change to the current structure – the role of main linking unit to go from the faculties to the inclusion of the departments; Centers of excellence (clusters) in which to include universities, public and private research units and production units.
For the changes to appear amendments to some standards are required as well as completely new laws such as the Law on pre-school and school education, the Law on Vocational Education and Training, which regulates the operations of colleges and the Higher Education Act, which to regulate centers of excellence. Amendments to the Law on development of academic staff in the Republic of Bulgaria are also ahead and being discussed by the Ministry’s team.
Translator: Dimitrina Parashkevova, volounteer