Bulgaria: Education unionists take action for quality education for all

published 27 April 2017 updated 8 May 2017

To mark the Global Action Week for Education, the Syndicat des enseignants bulgares has reaffirmed its determination to constantly work towards achieving and promoting the sustainable development goals and achieving quality education for all.

The Syndicat des enseignants bulgares(SEB) organised many different activities during the Global Action Week for Education (GAWE), held this year from 23-29 April. These were arranged “consistent with policies in favour of sustainable and quality education” said SEB President Yanka Takeva. The GAWE was organised by the Global Campaign for Education.

The events organised included:

The XXXVI Trade Union Council

The XXXVI Trade Union Council was attended by nearly 400 SEB representatives from all over the country and guests, including Education International (EI)’s Senior Consultant Martin Rømer, social partners, school principals, mayors and researchers. Among the main themes tackled were equality in schools, increasing training for future teachers, introducing innovative policies in education, innovative schools, innovative classes, and innovative activities in educational setting, grounding innovation in scientific analysis and research, improving the school environment, such as the psychological climate in school teams, the work organisation and the discipline in the classroom.

High-level conferences

The SEB co-organised, along with the Ministry of Education and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES), a conference on “Intercultural education: Good pedagogical practices for educational integration of minorities”. More than 45 pioneering educational proposals were presented.

The SEB also organised a conference under the theme, “Effective education - Its importance in a dynamically developing modern world”, with Professor Tatyana Dronzina from Sofia University making the keynote speech. Participants agreed that education is the base for raising the standard of living in the country. Teachers, principals, department heads from the Ministry of Education, and heads of regional education councils discussed how the new legal framework and the autonomy it provides can overcome the challenges and barriers to education, effectively improving the quality of education, raising the status of teachers, and showing that education stakeholders can achieve effective quality education in a dynamically changing world.

Many proposals were also made at a National Scientific Practical Conference entitled “Policies for socialising Roma children in the school and in the public environment” hosted by the education union. The proposals included: ensuring equal access and opportunities for quality education, and utilising vocational education for successful inclusion into the labour market. All proposals will be presented to the Council for Social Dialogue in Education, the new political parties at the Parliament and the parliamentary Commission for Education. Major steps were made in improving the Strategy for the Integration of Children and Students from Ethnic Minorities (2015-2020), the Strategy for Reducing the Share of Early School Drop-out (2013-2020), and the financing of the measures to implement these strategies within the three-year budgetary framework. The Bulgarian Minister of Education and Science, Nikolai Denkov, Petar Hubchev from FES-Bulgaria, principals, and representatives from local authorities and social partners took part in this event.

“Modern threats to the safety and protection of the life and health of children and students” was the theme of another conference organised by SEB. Innovative materials were presented, as well as valuable practical advice and solutions, in relation to safety, the protection of the life and health of children and students, the enhancement of their digital literacy on Internet, the counteraction to radicalisation, and potential modern threats to their safety. The security problem needs to be acknowledged by institutions, and school leaders, teachers, parents and families should be given the necessary skills to teach children to protect themselves from the modern world’s dangers.

Sectoral Council for tripartite cooperation in the education sector’s monthly meetings

In addition, every month, at the Sectoral Council for Tripartite Cooperation in the Education Sector’s meetings, at SEB’s request, issues related to the provision and guarantee of quality education are put on the agenda. Looking for the best solutions in this regard, SEB frequently asks for written information from the Ministry of Education and Science.