On 22 November 2017, the National Conference „Dual Education – a Road to Opportunities” outlined the vision for the development of dual education in Bulgaria over the years to come.
Organized by the Ministry of Education and Science, and the Bulgarian-Swiss project DOMINO in partnership with the European Commission Representation in Bulgaria, the conference was the main event within the European Vocational Skills Week.
Nations who succeeded to change their destiny have built sound education and strong institutions and therefore, from now onwards our governments should have education as the highest priority, Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev. With dual education we have the chance to restore the trust in professional education, stated Minister of Education and Science Krasimir Valchev. The Forum was addressed by Ambassador of Switzerland Denis Knobel and Ognian Zlatev, European Commission Representative to Bulgaria. Bulgaria’s European Commissioner Maria Gabriel made a video message. Ambassadors of Austria and Germany Roland Hauser and Herbert Salber attended the event.
The Conference presented the vision of the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science for dual education, as well as the best practices of the three projects currently implemented throughout the country: the Bulgarian-Swiss project DOMINO and the projects of the German-Bulgarian Chamber of Industry and Commerce and Advantage Austria, the Austrian Trade Commission in Bulgaria. Young people who are studying under the Swiss model “learning by working” shared their experience will be heard in the session “Sharing young persons’ experience”. See here the video of the opening part.
In Panel 1, the practitioners involved in the implementation of dual education – teachers, mentors, experts and businessmen – will present their points of view and innovation ideas. See the video of this panel.
Minister of Education and Science Krasimir Valchev and Deputy Minister of Economy Lachezar Borisov, as well as CEOs of leading foreign and Bulgarian companies – partners in the dual education shared opinions in the panel “The Voice of Decision Makers”. See here the video of Panel 2.
Researchers and international experts had their say in the panel, specially designated to the role of the professional orientation and counseling. Representatives of Switzerland and Slovakia shared knowledge and experience. See Panel 3.
Policy and decisions makers, representatives of Bulgarian and foreign companies, school principals and VET teachers, education experts, chambers of commerce and employers’ organizations, branch and industrial chambers, trade unions and NGOs took part in the Conference’s discussions about dual education which has been rapidly propagated in Bulgaria over the last years. Within the DOMINO Project over 800 students in 32 vocational schools across the country are enrolled in a dual form of education “learning by working”, gaining work experience in more than 170 leading Bulgarian and foreign companies.
See the full video footage of the Conference:
About the DOMINO Project:
With a total budget of 3,5 million Swiss francs, DOMINO, Dual education for the modern requirements and needs of society supports the reforms in the system of the professional education. Since 2015 it is introducing the modern dual-track training based of the Bulgarian traditions and the experience of Switzerland with its internationally recognized system of dual training and the lowest youth unemployment rates. Gradually, the hours in a real work environment will grow and at the end of their education the students will spend two days a week at school, while in the other three days they will be working and paid in companies which are part of the dual educational system.
Dual education under the Swiss model (learning by working) is spreading across the country: Sofia, Pleven, Ruse, Dobrich, Burgas, Yambol, Sliven, Kazanlak, Stara Zagora, Plovdiv, Pernik, Kyustendil, Sevlievo, Zlatitsa, Varna, Sandanski, Troyan, Radomir and Panagyurishte. Starting in 2015 with 81 students, two vocational schools and two professions, DOMIMO education is currently expanded to over 800 students in 32 vocational schools, eight professions, as well as 170 leading Bulgarian and foreign companies are partners of the project. In May 2017, the first 20 DOMINO students graduated from the Vocational School “Ivan Hadzhienov” in Kazanlak (south Bulgaria) and most of them are having now permanent job in the companies where they had had their apprenticeships.