Bulgarian President in Switzerland to discuss Bulgarian-Swiss Education

Bulgarian President in Switzerland to discuss Bulgarian-Swiss Education

Two days ago, the Bulgarian President, Rosen Asenov Plevneliev visited the Swiss capital Bern to discuss the prospect of cooperation between Bulgarian and Swiss higher academic institutions as well as high schools.

Specifically, the Bulgarian President’s visit aims at utilizing best Bulgaria’s recent increase in State Subsidies for Vocational Education.

The Swiss experience in bi-national education will be useful in the sectors of Mechanical engineering, mechatronics, electrotechnics, apparel and textiles technologies.

The Bulgarian President’s agenda included the vocational education strategy for 2014-2020 in Bulgaria. The Ministry of Education and Science a few months ago proposed augmenting Bulgaria’s vocational education and training system including plans for an increase in state subsidies towards achieving this.

During his two-day visit to Switzerland, Bulgarian President had an official stopover at the Crafts and Industry Vocational School in Bern and pointed out the importance of increasing state subsidies in Bulgaria as well as diversifying prospects for cooperation programmes at an international level. President Plevneliev was welcomed by the School Headmaster, Sonya Marty.

The Bulgarian President went over the Ministry’s proposed strategy, priorities and mechanisms for the development of dual education, pointing out that: “The measures, contained in this document, will enable establishing a real connection between business and education and will create conditions for overcoming unemployment among young adults”.

The Crafts and Industry Vocational School in Bern is the largest of its kind in Switzerland and offers top education in specific domains of crafts and industry to no less than 8,000 students in over 60 professions. It employs 600 teachers and other qualified staff.

The Bulgarian proposal includes a strategy that also aspires to increase the start-up salaries of teachers. Moreover, it aims to increase participation of businesses, organizations and entrepreneurs in various industries as integral components of the curricula. Last but not least, the Bulgarian Ministry of Education envisions the establishment of professional orientation centres in each Bulgarian municipality, which have pre-arranged opportunities for internships abroad, something which the Bulgarian president also highlighted during the discussions.

This discussion on supporting dual education in Bulgaria resulted into a draft document being agreed during Plevneliev’s visit to Switzerland and with an agreed project commencement date in the beginning of December 2014, and projected until 2019, with some 1,200 youngsters and 150 teachers expected to receive training as part of the project within the first year alone, only in programmes pertinent to Switzerland.

The Bulgarian president will likely visit other European nations to set up similar partnerships in the coming months.