BOA February Meeting Highlights
The Vice Minister’s visit was a first of a series of special guests who will be joining the upcoming BOA Monthly Meetings with thematic focus.
The Vice Minister shared insights on the top three priorities of the Education Ministry team – innovation in education, decrease in dropout rate of students in secondary schools, and enforcement of digitalization.
Vice Minister Sacheva presented in detail the 2nd National Education Program geared to support the further growth of the IT and high-value added shared service industries, and which BOA has co-developed, and announced the planned investment in education for the next four years, which amounts to a total of EUR 1 bln.
The new national education program between the Ministry of Education and IT and high-value added shared service industries is named “IT Companies in Schools and Teachers in IT Companies,” co-developed with BOA, BAIT and BASSCOM, which is due to be approved by the Council of Ministers in April and to kick in with the start of the 2019/2020 school year. The program will have a starting budget of BGN 1 mln for the 2019/20 school year (to support schools only) which will be disbursed on project-basis to boost the knowledge exchange between schools and companies within the IT sector. As vice minister Sacheva explained, there will be three modules, or in other words, ways in which schools and companies can participate in the program:
1) IT companies’ employees to teach specialized workshops in their areas of expertise to students 1st to 10th grade (matching between school and company topics of interest will be done via a platform to be launched in the coming months)
2) IT companies’ employees to teach deeper/ lengthier specialized subjects in their areas of expertise to students 1st to 10th grade (as assistant teachers, again matching will be done via the platform)
3) Teachers to gain knowledge and expertise in IT companies - either through participation in special projects (to co-develop relevant products/ processes) or via joining specialized trainings and workshops already under way in the companies (companies will be able to set criteria and matching will be done via the platform).
Mrs. Sacheva closed the debate by encouraging BOA companies to reach out and actively join the program via BOA (who will be responsible for certifying company credentials) and shared that the Ministry is willing to allocate additional funds if there is a greater demand for or collaboration by companies and schools.
BOA’s executive director, Dr. Anna-Marie Vilamovska, together with Ilia Krustev, BOA Board Member, and BOA’s Working Group on Education and HR have led the development of the program on behalf of the industry since Nov 2018. On the next meeting of the Education and HR work group (Feb 20) they will further discuss the technicalities of collaboration with schools, and the lists of topics to be offered by the industry. The special guest of this upcoming meeting will be Vladimir Mikov, Principal at 137 High School, ranked among the most innovative schools in the country. If you wouldlike to learn more about this program – please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org