Dual Education for the Modern Requirements and Needs of Society

Second National Conference “Dual Education – a Road to Opportunities”

8 August, 2019 News

Introduced by the DOMINO Project, dual education (learning by working) in Bulgaria will continue with funding of 24 million leva from the Operational Programme Science and Education for Smart Growth. This has been announced by Minister of Education and Science Krassimir Valchev at the national conference on dual education in Sofia on 12 June 2019.

National Conference “Dual education – a Road to Opportunities” presented the Bulgarian model of dual education, which has been elaborated under the DOMINO Project with the financial support of the Swiss government.

DOMINO and the Ministry of Education and Science are co-organizers of the Conference. Swiss Ambassador Muriel Berset Kohen and Ivan Ivanov, Director National Coordination Unit at the Council of Ministers addressed the event. Bulgaria. With more than 180 Bulgarian and foreign participants, the discussions presented the views of policy makers, representatives of vocational schools and business, as well as Swiss experts.

The success of the project is the introduction and implementation of a new system of vocational education in the country within only four years, as well as the active involvement of the Bulgarian business. DOMINO gave a career impetus to many young people and a hope for their future in Bulgaria”, said DOMINO Team Leader Petya Evtimova in her presentation. Parvan Simeonov from the GALLUP International Sociological Agency presented the preliminary results of survey on the main trends and attitudes of employers to dual education.

1, 600 students from 32 vocational schools in 19 cities across the country are enrolled in the dual form of education under the model “learning by working” under the Project DOMINO (the Bulgarian abbreviation for dual education for the modern needs and requirements of the society). The graduates leave school with a diploma and a certificate for professional qualification in prestigious professions, which are demanded by the business. DOMINO partners are 170 Bulgarian and foreign companies, who offer to students not just practice, but also training from skilled mentors and work in real working environment paid under a labour contract. Dual education paved the way to the youngster from the dual classes to the labour market: 70 % of the DOMINO graduates are already working in the company where they have gained working experience while still in school.

In the 1st panel of the Conference, the participants discussed the Bulgarian and Swiss experience in dual education. Erik Swars from the Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training, Vasil Radoynovski, Head of Secretariat of the Bulgarian-Swiss Chamber of Commerce, Oleg Stoilov –Chairperson of the Board of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry – Stara Zagora and Konstantin Kostadinov – Principal of the VET School for Architecture and Wood-Processing “Hristo Botev” presented views and experience. All shared the opinion that the partnerships between the business, local authorities and state institutions are key for the success of dual education. Video from the opening and the 1st panel.

Krasimir Valchev – Minister of Education and Science, Galin Gospodinov – Chairman of the Board of the Branch Chamber of Wood processing and Furniture Producers Georgi Atanasov – CEO of Festo Production and Marcel van der Hoek – Country Managing Director of ABB Bulgaria participated in the panel “Dual Education Is the Way: Points of view of Government and Business”.

Students from DOMINO classes Dian Baev, Vassil Mitev and Krasimir Voikov shared their personal experience about dual education.

The Swiss know-how in dual education, which a source for the Bulgarian VET model, was presented by Ben Hüter, Director of IDM Vocational School in Thun, Gabriel Bolliger, Vocational Trainer at AZM Vocational Training Center, Langenthal, and Hanspeter Tanner, Senior VET expert and former SFIVET key trainer in DOMINO. Bulgarian Lachezar Afrikanov, DOMINO Dual-Track Education Expert joined the discussions. See video from the discussions in these two panels.

For the first time, Practical Guidelines on Dual Education were presented at the Second National Conference, which has been elaborated within the project.