As of the first school day on 15 September, around 400 students in 16 professional schools in 11 towns in Bulgaria will have a dual form of education “learning by working” under the Swiss model within the Bulgarian-Swiss Cooperation Programme.
On 16 September, President of Bulgaria Rosen Plevneliev and Swiss Ambassador Denis Knobel attended the official opening of the new school year in the Professional school for mechanics and electrotechnics “Nikola Vaptsarov” in Sofia. Students and their parents, teachers and representatives of the businesses met at this event to mark the launch of the new profession electrician within DOMINO in the only school for mechanics and electrotechnics in Sofia and Sofia district. The DOMINO students will have the opportunity to do both, learning and working in leading companies as Nestle, CEZ, Festo, Alfalift, LEM and Reichle & De Massari.
Last year, the Bulgarian-Swiss project DOMINO started in two professional schools in Sofia and Kazanlak in two professions – technician for machines with computerized numerical control and technologist in the production of milk and dairy products. As of the new school year the project introduces three new specialties: electrician specialized in electrical production, gas technician and cook in 14 more schools in 10 towns: Burgas, Dobrich, Russe, Pleven, Pernik, Plovdiv, Stara Zagora, Sliven, Yambol and Sofia. More than 20 are the DOMINO partner companies, where the students will gather their labour experience.
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, the country with the world’s recognized system of the 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. Until 2019 the project will involve 1 200 students in 15 vocational schools, as well as ten occupations.
The involvement of the different stakeholders for the introduction of the dual system in Bulgaria – state institutions, private companies, branches and business organizations, local authorities and the NGO sector – is coordinated by the specially organized Forum on dual education. New educational programmes are being developed within the project and meanwhile teachers, mentors and experts on dual education are trained.