Bulgarian news

Bulgarian tourist attractions

Burgas is situated on the Black Sea, in the south-eastern part of the country. It is the fourth largest city in Bulgaria and is smaller and less crowded than other big city on Bulgarian Black Sea – Varna. The climate here is temperately continental with a distinct impact from the Black Sea

Burgas has a relaxed atmosphere with good shopping and an abundance of restaurants and outdoor cafes.The Sea Park is situated on a high shore, all of it cut by flowerbeds, trees and sculptures. Within the park, there is a casino, a small zoo and an open-air theatre.
The central beach is situated below the Sea Park, a beautiful forked staircase in verdure leads to the beach. The city has a northern beach, too, close to the Izgrev Quarter, adjacent to the salt mines.

Burgas is Bulgaria`s largest port and this is the primary focus of the city, but Bourgas is not only an important industrial centre – it has also considerable resources for tourism. The favourable geographical location and advanced transport infrastructure of Bourgass are good prerequisites for the development of tourism and trade.
The city is a starting point for visiting the seaside resorts in the area – Sunny Beach resort, the town of NessebarThe Elenite holiday village, etc. to the north and The Dyuni holiday villageSozopolKitenLozenets and others, to the south.

The city of Varna is located in North-East Bulgaria. It is third largest city after Sofia and Plovdiv and is called Bulgaria`s Sea Capital. The gem of the Bulgarian Black Sea is situated at the end of the big Varna Bay, with a convenient and well conserved water area a port wich in years handles up to 18 million tons of cargo. Nowadays it is the main port for both naval and commercial shipping and, adjacent as it is to the coastal resorts of Constantine and Helena (Druzhba), RivieraGolden Sands, and Albena, it has a cosmopolitan atmosphere. Sailors on shore-leave in unfamiliar ceremonial uniforms, mingle with foreign tourists and locals as they promenade along shady boulevards, lined by dignified 19th and early 20th century buildings. The city`s peculiar sea charm is sublime and moving. Ancient, medival, renaissance and modern cultures mingle and coexist through the city.
The city is clean and green. Of the green miracles at least three are a must: the Marine Gardens which are the largest in the Balkans; Euxinograd park, the former Royal Palace; the paradise of St.Constantine.
Varna is a city of old culture, living traditions and ambitious undertakings. Some 20 per cent of its population are students in various educational institutions, four of which are higher.

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Capacity Building of VET Staff

The thematic discussion on the topic Capacity Building of VET STAFF was moderated by Ms Darina Petrunova and Mrs Vanya Neycheva from European Center for Quality, Bulgaria.
In total 5 good practices -2 from Bulgaria and 3 from Belgium were presented. The good practices were related to the improvement of VET staff skills through participation in international teaching activities and working meetings and structured VET trainings.

  • Good practice 1 – Vocational High School of Electrical Engineering, Galabovo, Bulgaria
    In February 2020 the team of the school held a working meeting with teachers from the Edirne Vocational High School in Turkey. Some specifics of the Turkish educational system were also highlighted and the teachers exchanged different ideas and best practices of teaching methodologies and techniques in the field of Electrical engineering.
  • Good practice 2 – Diagnose Car – Connectief, Belgium
    It is a collaboration between the private sector and the ministry of education. In this project, private companies give access to the schools to a variety of modern cars with network technology, diagnostic equipment and technical data. All participating teachers receive Train the trainer sessions depending on the cars. 
  • Good practice 3 – RTC East-Flanders, Belgium
    RTC main objective is to activate and reinforce cooperation between education,  companies and other labor market actors by connecting schools and businesses, sharing technology infrastructure and equipment and competence enhancement of teachers and students.
  • Good practice 4 – CREATE project, Syntra West, Belgium
    The project aimed to organize 6 mobilities placement for 20 Belgian teachers in Barcelos, Portugal in the summer of 2019. The focus at CRE-ATE is on ICT-supporting teaching and the train-the-trainer principle. The project goal is not only to provide teachers with ICT skills, but also to give them a practical approach by using coaching methodology.
  • Good practice 5 – FUTURE FOR US, Bulgaria
    The project was implemented by the Vocational high School of Construction and Woodworking “ Nedyo Ranchev „Stara Zagora and the teachers conducted a training placement in Barcelona in 2019. The main aim was to stimulate the use of digital methods by studying and introducing innovative pedagogical approaches and setting up a mediation team at school to reduce aggressive events, conflict situations and the number of dropouts of school children.

The thematic room gathered in total of 33 participants – many VET teachers, project coordinators; 3 management representatives and other stakeholders.  Representatives from Belgium, Italy, Bulgaria, Albania, Ukraine joined the discussion. According to the participants the most suitable types of staff, mobilities are structured VET training and job shadowing. Moreover, 22 participants responded and highlighted that the main obstacles they face for participating in VET staff mobility projects are the language barriers and insufficient opportunities.

To conclude it can be stated that the content presented during the event was engaging and beneficial for the participants and space for networking was provided.

Capacity Building VET Staff: Resources available

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Sustainable Development Goals

ENNE Project coordinated an international online conference on November the 9th named VET4FUTURE.

The conference introduced to the future of vocational education thanks to Mr. Luca Pirozzi Policy Officer for VET at EAECA (Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency of the European Commission)

The ZOOM event organized into 5 breakout rooms each of these dedicated to a specific thematic:

  • Recognition/validation of competences in WBL (Work Based Learning – national traineeships/transnational mobility/etc.)
  • Social Inclusion in VET (Disabilities, migrants, economic disadvantages, etc.)
  • Digital transformation / Distance Learning
  • Sustainability and contribution of VET to the achievement of UN Agenda 2030 SDGs
  • Capacity building of VET Staff

In the ZOOM breakout room dedicated to “Sustainability and contribution of VET to the achievement of UN agenda 2030 SDGs” the VET European schools members of the ENNE Network presented and shared their “best practices” in order to show how it is possible to boost ideas and collect contributions for the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nation.

  1. Sandro Pertini Institute of Afragola (Naples, Italy) presented its motto: “Sustain sustainable school”. The institute established a “free plastic week” and arranged interactive exhibitions where students can experiment the condition of being costumers and citizens passing through production activities. An opportunity to raise awareness on reducing waste through prevention, reduction and recycling;
  2. The Alfonso Casanova Institute of Napoli (Italy) – in order to encourage students in engagement in favor of disadvantaged people – planned the realization of packaging for removable dental prosthesis for prisoners. This allows the development of transversal skills;
  3. The National High school in Finance and Business of Sophia (Bulgaria) dedicates a school area to those students who have ideas in terms of contributing to the achievement of the UN goals arranging drawers to collect the students’ views. Other activities concern the realization of usable objects or art creations using only trash or garbage items.
  4. The Orfini Institute of Foligno (Perugia, Italy) promoted the involvement of VET-schools in the development of sustainable urban centers establishing VET education programs relevant to the development of sustainable urban centers. The activities also concern the enhancement of cooperation and entrepreneurship creative skills among students.

Sustainable Development Goals: Resouces Available

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Recognition and Validation of Competences in WBL

To celebrate the formal establishment of the 5 VET networks, ENNE’s project partners have decided to organise an online Conference, during the European Vocational Skills Week, to foster a first meeting between their VET communities, where they could interact and work towards their common goal – the Enhancement of VET quality and attractiveness

Arts & Skills was responsible for moderating the thematic session “Recognition and Validation of Competences in Work Based Learning”.

National or international WBL programs are targeted to bridge the gap between the learning environment and real work environment, and different WBL strategies provide career awareness, career exploration opportunities, career planning activities and help students attain competencies such as positive work attitudes and other employable skills.

The recognition and validation of competencies in WBL environments refer to the identification and appreciation of the skills and competencies that an individual acquires through a work-based learning experience.
Although, WBL experiences can have different forms ((apprenticeship, internship, service learning, school-based enterprise, or industry projects) they should be well planned, monitored and assessed properly to become relevant for 

The European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) is one of the most relevant EU frameworks developed to help the VET community implementing high-quality WBL programs:   

  • ECVET provides a framework for the assessment, validation and recognition of learning outcomes, alongside a series of common tools and instruments able to support quality in mobility. 
  • ECVET promotes the integration of mobility into existing learning pathways. 
  • ECVET contributes to the development of a common language for use by different VET stakeholders and promotes mutual trust within the wider VET community. 
  • ECVET supports the valorisation of key competences (such as foreign language skills or intercultural competence) alongside those that are more technically – or vocationally – oriented. 

The implementation of ECVET was referred during the best practices presented by six of our network members, from Portugal, Italy and Germany, who shared with the audience good practices implemented by their VET organizations and related to WBL experiences.

Ms. Sonia Barani, from the “Italienische Handelskammer für Deutschland”, Germany, presented the MeMeVET project (mechatronics and metallurgical VET for sectors‘ industries) and its outcomes. The project, implemented in 5 countries (DE, IT, ES, BG, SK) aimed at tackling some of the main issues impeding free mobility of workers and VET learners of the sector in Europe. One of the main issues is related to the difficulty of having one’s competencies and know-how recognized in another EU country. Another one, concerns the gap between the training and learning offer of VET institutions and the real needs of the labour market.

Ms Joana Soares from EP Felgueiras, Portugal, shared with the participants their experience in VET-Business cooperation at local and regional level concerning Curriculum development; Matching supply and demand of technicians; Development of technological devices (e.g. Robots) for the local industry; Social Inclusion and Monitoring of trainees after the completion of the course.

Ms. Margherita Battaglini, from ITE SCARPELLINI – Foligno, Italy, offered an overview of their experience with the implementation of ECVET not only on Transnational, but also National WBL experiences.

Ms. Alessia Montanucci, from I.O. Salvatorelli Moneta Marsciano, Italy, presented a mobility experience developed in Malta in 2019, that involved 15 students from the 3rd and the 4th year of high school. The internships  were held at local businesses: museums, shops, state agencies, cruises for tourists, etc. which she had the opportunity to accompany for the whole training period.

From Portugal, Mr. Edgar Costa, from Vocational School Bento Jesus Caraça, shared how they adapted mandatory WBL experiences that should have been developed in a real working context, to a successful simulated business context due to the confinement imposed by COVID 19. 

Mr Ferenc Naacke from “Berufliches Schulzentrum für Wirtschaft in Dresden, Germany, presented the “Healthy Lifestyle” Project and the approach that allowed their organization to implement 70 internships abroad, in 8 different countries, for students from the Social Insurance Course, whose training focuses mainly on administrative work of social insurance clerks, but not on the background knowledge in advising insured people on the prevention of diseases.

This session showed us how diverse work-based learning strategies can be and how multiple approaches can be addressed by VET organizations to improve and enhance VET quality and attractiveness.

We hope we have brought some inspiration to our audience for further projects and cooperation among our VET Community. 

Recognition and Validation of Competences in Work-Based Learning: Resources available

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Digital transformation and distance learning

Digital transformation and distance learning have been a hot topic since the Covid-19 outbreak.
This was also clear during the inscriptions for this theme at VET4FUTURE.
We give you a brief overview of the good practices that were shared.

BLEFT is an EU project for the development of e-learning modules in forestry. In Saxony (Germany) the official LernSax was put into service during the lockdown. Students and teachers worked online and found each other on this well-equipped platform for lessons, meetings, etc.
In Portugal, the Escola profissional C.J. de Campanha should find a new way to publish student work in graphic media. For this they used a virtual exhibition. Italian Fondazione Lepido Rocco bundled a lot of good practices on the website from which we discovered a CLIL training and the Sherwood project.
Finally, we have introduced to google classroom thanks to the tourist vocational school Aleko Konstantinov from Bulgaria.

Digital transformation and distance learning: Resources available

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Soziale Inklusion in der Berufsbildung

Der erste von 20 Grundsätzen der Europäischen Säule sozialer Rechte ist der allgemeinen und beruflichen Bildung und dem lebenslangen Lernen gewidmet: 

“Jede Person hat das Recht auf allgemeine und berufliche Bildung und lebenslanges Lernen von hoher Qualität und in inklusiver Form, damit sie Kompetenzen bewahren und erwerben kann, die es ihr ermöglichen, vollständig am gesellschaftlichen Leben teilzuhaben und Übergänge auf dem Arbeitsmarkt erfolgreich zu bewältigen.”

(Source: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/priorities/deeper-and-fairer-economic-and-monetary-union/european-pillar-social-rights/european-pillar-social-rights-20-principles_de)

In ganz Europa finden wir zahlreiche Initiativen, Projekte und Programme, die die Inklusion benachteiligter Menschen in die Bildung und damit in die Arbeit unterstützen. Sie zeigen auch, dass die Umsetzung sozialer Inklusion in der Bildung und speziell in der Berufsbildung auch von der Struktur des Bildungssystems und der jeweiligen nationalen Politik in den einzelnen Ländern abhängt. Im Folgenden werden wir drei bewährte Ansätze vorstellen, die während der Konferenz VET4FUTURE präsentiert wurden

  • Individueller Bildungsplan
    Das Istituto Omnicomprensivo Giano dell’Umbria – Bastardo aus Italien begann 2019 mit Individuellen Bildungsplänen (IBP) zu arbeiten. Dabei handelt es sich um einen ganzheitlichen Bildungsansatz, der die Fähigkeiten der Schülerinnen und Schüler fördert, die nicht nur akademische, sondern auch soziale Kompetenzen und lebenspraktische Fertigkeiten umfassen. Der Ansatz zieht sich durch den gesamten Bildungszyklus, von der Grundschule bis zur Sekundarschule, einschließlich der beruflichen Bildung. Darüber hinaus können IBPs nicht nur auf benachteiligte, sondern auf alle Schülerinnen und Schüler angewandt werden. Jeder Schüler wird beurteilt, es werden individuelle Ziele gesetzt und geeignete didaktische Maßnahmen und Methoden gewählt, um diese zu erreichen. Auf der Grundlage der IEP und angespornt durch die erreichten Leistungen werden Lebensprojekte für benachteiligte Schülerinnen und Schüler entwickelt. Damit dieser Ansatz funktioniert, müssen der soziale Hintergrund und die Gemeinschaft um einen Schüler herum einbezogen werden – die Schule, die Familie, relevante Verbände, soziale Dienste sowie Unternehmen – mit dem Ziel, jeden Schüler und jede Schüler bei seinem/ ihrem beruflichen Werdegang zu unterstützen.
  • Inklusive Praktika
    Die Schlüssel zur erfolgreichen Inklusion von Menschen mit Behinderungen am Arbeitsplatz wurden von DomSpain Consulting aus Spanien vorgestellt. Es ist wichtig, sich der Mythen und vorgefassten Meinungen bewusst zu sein, das gesamte Unternehmen einzubeziehen, das Bewusstsein der Mitarbeiter zu schärfen und eine effektive Kommunikationsstrategie zu implementieren. Besonders bewusste und unbewusste Vorurteile können eine Herausforderung für die Inklusion sein. Es muss berücksichtigt werden, dass Schülerinnen und Schüler, die an einem Praktikum in einem Unternehmen teilnehmen, unterschiedliche spezielle Bedürfnisse haben, auf die eingegangen werden muss und für die Lösungen gefunden werden müssen. Für Personen mit eingeschränkter Mobilität müssen möglicherweise architektonische Barrieren überwunden werden. Für Personen mit Hör- oder Sehbehinderungen können verschiedene Kommunikationsmethoden und -technologien eingesetzt werden. Unternehmen sollten auch über die Barrierefreiheit ihrer Dokumente und ihrer Webseite nachdenken. Personen mit Legasthenie oder anderen Lernschwierigkeiten werden für leicht lesbare Anleitungen dankbar sein. Daher sollte im Vorfeld eine sorgfältige Bewertung der spezifischen Situation erfolgen, um den Bedürfnissen der Praktikantin/des Praktikanten gerecht zu werden und einen erfolgreichen Praktikumsbeginn zu gewährleisten.
  • Mobilitäten für Schülerinnen und Schüler mit Förderbedarf
    Ein bestärkender Schritt kann die Teilnahme von Schülerinnen und Schülern mit sonderpädagogischem Förderbedarf an Erasmus+-Projekten und -Mobilitäten sein, wie im Fall des Istituto d’istruzione superiore Ciuffelli-Einaudi, Todi in Italien. Während des gesamten Projekts „Linking Business, Enterprise & Entrepreneurial Skills Internationally“ nahmen an den Projektaktivitäten auch Schülerinnen und Schüler mit besonderen pädagogischen Bedürfnissen teil, um die Kommunikation und Zusammenarbeit unter Gleichaltrigen zu fördern. Die Schülerinnen und Schüler konnten an Mobilitäten in den Partnerländern des Projekts teilnehmen. Die Partnerschaft konzentrierte sich auf das, was die Schülerinnen und Schüler können, und nicht auf das, was sie nicht können. Das Lernen wurde durch kreative Aktivitäten erleichtert, die Verantwortung, Teamarbeit, Risikobereitschaft und Problemlösung fördern. Darüber hinaus wurden die Aktivitäten so gestaltet, dass sie den verschiedenen Lernstilen der Schülerinnen und Schüler entsprachen. Durch diese Aktivitäten und die Möglichkeit, an einer Mobilität teilzunehmen, wurde unter anderem das Selbstvertrauen der Schülerinnen und Schüler erhöht und ihre Kommunikationsfähigkeiten verbessert.
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eCON, a European practice for future young economists

On 01.10.2019 started the Project “eCON – European practice for future young economists” involving two of the associated partners of the ENNE Project:

  • Vocational High School in Economics “G. S. Rakovsky”, Yambol, Bulgaria;
  • National High School in Finance and Business, Sofia, Bulgaria.

The project is implemented in a consortium with one more vocational school and a foundation. The project stipulates the sending of a group of 24 students from 10-11 grade (8 students and one teacher from each school) from Economics and ManagementBusiness Administration and Trade specialties from the three vocational high schools to a two-week practice in Barcelos and Portugal in the summer of 2020.
The mobility participants will develop and build on their key competences and skills in enterprise economics and in particular on various business performance indicators of the firm. Through the practical exercises in a real working environment, eCON project will result in improving the skills and competences of the students for:

  • Analyzing the quality of products and services and producing comparative analyses;
  • Performing economic analysis of volume and structure of sales in SMEs and understanding the process of forming profit targets;
  • Developing work organization hierarchy and mapping the main processes in SMEs;
  • Preparing financial analyses according to different indicators and assessment of the financial state of real films and ideas for improving it;
  • Assimilating financial reporting practices according to International Accounting Standards (IAS, IFRS) and their practical implementation by solving Portuguese case studies;
  • Planning the creation of new products/services in real firms;
  • Planning the marketing of SMEs.

These acquired practical skills and competences will be certified from the receiving organisation, an employer reference, as well as Europass Mobility document, which will expand students’ career opportunities. By developing specific skills through practice, students will become more competitive and adept at the needs of the business and with increased prospects for realization on the labor market.