National Support Service - Bulgaria
The functions of a National Support Service to the Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe (EPALE) in Bulgaria are carried out by the Ministry of Education and Science (MES).
The Minister of Education and Science implements the state policy and develops a strategy for the development of the education and science in accordance with the European policy. The Minister of Education and Science also:
- Organizes the development and implementation of the national programs for development of the secondary and higher education and programs for training and retraining;
- Coordinates the implementation of the national programs and projects for scientific research and development of the scientific potential according to the trends of development of science in the country and abroad;
- Coordinates the implementation of the social policy on the issues related to employment and income levels in the field of education and science;
- Manages and organizes the implementation and functioning of the information technologies in the education and science;
- Organizes the activities of the Managing Authority of Operational Programme "Science and Education for Smart Growth 2014 - 2020";
- Represents the Republic of Bulgaria at the conclusion of international agreements for cooperation in the field of education and science and coordinates their implementation within the delegated by the Council of Ministers competences;
The Ministry of Education and Science is the National Coordinator for the Implementation of the European Agenda for Adult Learning in Bulgaria.
In 2019 and 2020, the National Support Service for EPALE (NSS) in Bulgaria will carry out the following activities:1. Promotion of the platform, attracting and involving users Within this work package, NSS will organise the following activities: - Development of EPALE.bg – 50% increase in the number of institutions by the end of the period; - Organisation of events to promote EPALE - 5 workshops, 2 information stands, an outreach seminar for journalists, a national and a European conference; - Promotion of the platform at 10 events organised by other institutions and organisations; - Dissemination of information and publicity material; - Cooperation with the Bulgarian Erasmus+ National Agency (HRDC) and the national coordinator for adult learning. 2. Contribution to the platform’s content The following activities will be carried out to ensure the quality of the materials published and the availability of the required content: - Conducting a customer content needs analysis survey; - Preparing rules and criteria for the quality of the content published and setting up an editorial board; - Creating and uploading content to the platform: 60 content resources, 60 blog articles, 60 news items, 60 events; - Preparing 24 monthly newsletters. 3. Participation in the joint implementation of EPALE - Supporting NSS in providing answers to Bulgaria-related questions; - Rendering (technical) assistance to users; - Participation in the usability tests; - Proposing new ideas and initiatives, proposing topics/discussions to be developed within EPALE through groups, blogs or other activities. 4. Animation of online communities and interactive sections - Managing NSS’s profiles in Facebook, Twitter and Google+ https://www.facebook.com/EPALE.BG/https://twitter.com/epale_bulgariahttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiP-f08YfDoxxFuejBOsi2A - Placing animated banners on the official websites of institutions and organisations for direct connection with the platform; - Organising 3 webinars for EPALE ambassadors; - Providing video streaming of the events – conferences and workshops. 5. Support of the webpage of the NSS The key information in the national webpage will be updated by April 2019. The information in the “Adult training in the country” section will be updated in June 2019 and June 2020. The content in the webpage of NSS will be translated in the 6 principal languages of EPALE. 6. Support of multilingualism In support of multilingualism, NSS will provide translation of resources and blog articles from Bulgarian into foreign languages and from foreign languages into Bulgaria. Priority will be given to blog articles on the monthly topics of EPALE. An overall review of the European adult learning glossary will be undertaken.
EPALE National Support Service
Yumer Kodjayumer – Provision of resources - firstname.lastname@example.org
Мaya Slavova - providing multylingualism - email@example.com (link sends e-mail)
Dobromir Popov - ICT expert - firstname.lastname@example.org (link sends e-mail)
Alexandar Popov - Provision of resources - email@example.com (link sends e-mail)
Diana Traykova - firstname.lastname@example.org
Emilia Nikolova - Komitska - email@example.com
Katya Stanoeva - Administrative issues - firstname.lastname@example.org
Severina Dimitrova - email@example.com
The Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria regulates the right of all Bulgarian citizens to continuously improve their education and qualification, regardless of their age.
Acquisition of primary and secondary education, incl. the simultaneous acquisition of secondary education and vocational qualification is free of charge for all adult learners.
Conditions are provided for validation of knowledge, skills and competencies acquired through non-formal and / or informal learning, as well as on the basis of professional and / or practical experience.
Detainees (prisoners) are guaranteed equal access to educational, training and qualification activities consisting of general and vocational education and training, social education, literacy and vocational courses targeting the illiterate.
Adult education and training is carried out in different forms: day, evening, part-time, individual, informal, distance.
Adult learning is conducted in various institutions: evening schools, vocational high schools and colleges, vocational training centres, schools at prisons, community centres (chitalishta), libraries, museums, etc.
A final impact assessment was carried out in the period 2020-2021.The document presents the progress achieved in the implementation of the National Strategy for Lifelong Learning 2014-2020 (NSLL), adopted by Decision No. 12 of the Council of Ministers (CoM) on 10.01.2014, with a focus on the adult learning sector. The aim is to reflect the results of the implementation of the set objectives and activities in each area of impact of the strategy, as well as to outline the main trends and challenges.
This ex-post impact assessment has been developed within the framework of Project No. 614188-EPP-1-2019-1-EN-EPPKA3-AL-AGENDA “National Coordinators in the Implementation of the European Agenda for Adult Learning”, which is being implemented with the financial support of the European Commission Erasmus + Programme.The project has been implemented in the period between 01.01.2020 - 31.12.2021 by the Ministry of Education and Science (MES) - the National Coordinator for the implementation of the European Agenda for Adult Learning in Bulgaria, in accordance with Agreement No. 614188 of the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency of the European Commission.
A national consultation process was conducted for the preparation of the impact assessment of the National Strategy for Lifelong Learning 2014-2020.
The National Strategy for Lifelong Learning 2014-2020 sets out the goals and indicators for progress to be achieved by 2020. Of these, the ex-post impact assessment examines the goals and indicators that focus on the adult learning sector.
In 2019 and 2020 the process of annual improvement of the educational structure of the population in active working age (25-64 years) continues. The share of persons with higher education, which reached 29.2% in 2020, increased by 1.1 percentage points compared to 2019 The share of persons with secondary education decreased slightly by 0.4 percentage points, but at the same time compared to 2019 the share of persons with primary and lower education decreased by 0.6 percentage points. Over the last seven years, the relative share of the population with primary and lower education decreased by 2.0 percentage points - from 18.9% in 2014 to 16.9% in 2020, and the share of persons with secondary education decreased slightly from 54, 1% to 53.9%. During this period the relative share of persons with higher education increased, from 27.0% in 2014 to 29.2% in 2020. These data show an overall improvement in the educational structureof the population in active working age.
Participation of the population aged 25-64 in formal or non-formal education and training (four week period) The target value set for 2020 in the National Strategy for Lifelong Learning is to reach 5% participation of the population aged 25-64 in learning activities (formal and/or non-formal education and training). The European Commission has set a target according to which in 2020 the participation of persons aged 25-64 in learning activities must be at least 15% on average for EU countries.
The progress in the level of participation of adults in learning activities (formal and/or non-formal education and training) for the 2014-2018 period is quite modest - an average of 0.1 percentage points per year. According to the data of the European “Labour Force Survey” the share of adults (25-64 years of age) who participated in learning in 2019 is 2.0%, or in 2019 there is a return to the 2013 level. In 2020, mainly due to the constraints of the pandemic situation, the participation decreased sharply and reached the level of 1.6%, which is the lowest for the 2014-2020 period. Therefore, Bulgaria remained far from the national target for 2020 (5%) . Here we should note that the measured values through the statistical “Labour Force Survey” are burdened with stochastic errors (due to low participation in learning activities) and non-stochastic errors resulting from inaccurate or incomplete answers of another household member in the absence of the respondent or due to omissions by the interviewers.
The review of the participants in formal or non-formal education and training during the last 7 years by separate age groups shows that the group of young people aged 25 to 34 is the most active, where their share of participation in formal or non-formal education and training is growing steadily and relatively significantly in the 2013-2018 period: by 1.7 percentage points (p.p.), where in 2019 this share sharply decreased to 6.6%, reaching the 2013 level. In 2020, overall learning activity decreased significantly, with young people’s participation reaching its lowest level for the period under review.
The participation rate of the population aged 35-44 is significantly lower - 1.2% in 2020, and this is a value that is almost four times lower than that of the previous age group. The level of participation of people over the age of 45 is much lower and does not meet the need for training to update or increase their knowledge and skills in a dynamic and evolving economic environment.
According to the Eurostat data on this indicator, Bulgaria occupies the penultimate position for 2020 among EU countries (before Romania), despite the increase in the 2014-2018 period. Again, in the 2014-2020 period the difference between the value of this indicator for Bulgaria and the average value for the EU countries remains large and remains at around 9 percentage points, due to the similar and declining level of participation on average for the EU countries and Bulgaria for the last three years.
Data on the participation of the population aged 25-64 in formal or non-formal education and training (12 months before the survey) are provided by the European Adult Education Survey (AES). It is held in EU countries every five years. The results from the latest study in 2016 show that levels of adult participation in Bulgaria in formal education or training and in non-formal education are almost twice lower than the average levels for EU countries.
A set of measures at national and regional level has been implemented in recent years to increase the level of participation of adults in education and training. This approach should be upgraded with the participation of all stakeholders - state and local governments, educational institutions, employers, learners, etc. The main prerequisite for achieving better results is to provide conditions for further improvement of the educational structure of the population. The analysis of the data clearly shows that people with higher education and younger people are significantly more active in their participation in formal and non-formal education or training.
Data from the latest survey on adult education and training show that the level of participation of low-qualified people aged 25-64 in training 12 months (12 months before the survey) was 7.6% in 2016 and it is more than twice as lower than the EU average.
Prematurely leaving education and training persons aged 18-24. This indicator describes the result of the participation (or non-participation) of young people aged 18-24 in education or training in previous periods and in this meaning is a “result” indicator. It is designed to encourage EU countries to make efforts and implement measures and policies to increase the share of high school graduates, to limit the dropout and drop-out rates of students in all grades, to cover all children aged 5 to 15 years in compulsory education and to encourage the participation of young people in formal and non-formal education and training.
The national goal is for Bulgaria to achieve or reduce by 2020 the relative share of early school leavers among persons aged 18-24 below 11%. The EU aims to reduce this share to below 10% on average for EU countries.
According to the data of the European Commission (Eurostat), the share of early school dropouts (ESD) in the 2013-2019 period on average for the EU countries shows a steady downward trend - from 11.9% in 2013 to 10.1% in 2020, approaching the target value - 10.0%. In the 2013-2016 period, the share of person who left their education or training in Bulgaria is growing significantly, after which this share varies over the years, reaching 12.8% in 2020. Compared to the EU countries, Bulgaria ranks negative 23rd for 2020. Italy, Romania, Spain and Malta have worse results.
Relative share (%) of persons aged 15-29 who do not work and do not participate in education or training.This indicator is important for assessing the employment conditions of young people with low or no professional qualification.Compared to the previous year, in 2020 the share of young people aged 15-29 who do not work and do not participate in education or training decreased insignificantly by 0.1 percentage points. This means that in the context of the pandemic constraints, the employment and participation of young people in educational activities has been maintained and has not led to an increase in the share of unemployed and non-involved in education young people.In 2020, Bulgaria is in the negative twenty-fourth place in the EU in terms of the share of young people who neither work nor participate in education or training. With an average of the 27 Member States of the European Union of 13.15% in 2020, only Italy (22.2%), Greece (18.1%) and Romania (18.1%) are in worse positions than Bulgaria (16.6%)
Employment of persons aged 20-34 who have recently completed higher or secondary education 1-3 years before the reference year. This indicator is important for at least two reasons: because it relates the completed education with the realization of the graduates on the labour market; because it is related to the effectiveness of the education at the national level and suggests opportunities for measuring the performance of secondary and higher education graduates at the district, municipal and school levels.
According to Eurostat data in 2020, the employment of recent graduates of higher and secondary education in Bulgaria decreased compared to 2019 by 2 percentage points, while the level remains above the national target for 2020 (77%).
Employment of the population aged 20-64. The pandemic economy constraints in 2020 had a negative impact on employment in the country and this led to a break in the steady growth of the employment level in the 2014-2019 period. During this period, employment among people aged 20-64 increased significantly by 19.9 percentage points and reached 75.0%. Although lower, the employment rate achieved in 2020 (73.4%) is higher than the EU-27 average (72.4) and is close to the target set in the “Bulgaria 2020” strategy (76%), which is 1 percentage point above the EU target.The employment rate of the population aged 20-64 has been constantly increasing in the 2013-2019 period, and only in 2020 decreased under the influence of the main factor - the COVID-19 pandemic. The data show a relatively good level of employment in Bulgaria for 2020, which is 1 percentage point higher than the EU-27 average. It is clear that higher education provides a higher level of employment. In addition, the data show that the crisis situation has had the most negative impact on the employmentof low-qualified workers: a decrease of 3.1 percentage points for 2020 compared to 2019, and the least effect on the employment among people with higher education - only 0.9 percentage points.Among the EU-27 countries Sweden has the highest employment in 2020 (80.8%), and Greece has the lowest employment: 61.1%. Bulgaria ranks 18th with 73.4%.
The increase in employment is the result of a number of macroeconomic and other factors, including gross domestic product growth, the creation of new jobs, the improvement of the business climate, the transition from “hidden” to registered employment. If these factors continue to have a positive impact, employment levels can be expected to recover and continue to increase once the epidemic economic and social constraints are removed.
The main strategic document for development of the Bulgarian adult learning sector is the National Lifelong Learning Strategy, 2014-2020: https://www.mon.bg/en/74
The Employment Agency (EA)
The Employment Agency is an Executive Agency at the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and implements the state policy for increasing the employment.
The Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA)
The Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA) is a nationally represented employers' organization in Bulgaria. Established in 1996, it has a serious authority in the business community, the social partnership and in the public as a whole.
The Balkan Institute for Labour and Social Policy (BILSP)
The Balkan Institute for Labour and Social Policy (BILSP) is a non-governmental, voluntary, independent, non-political non-profit association, founded in September 2001.
The Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA)
The Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA) is a nationally represented employers' organization, established on 25 April 1980. It participates in the system of social dialogue at national and international level, where it defends the interests of the Bulgarian business when changes in the legislation and administrative practices take place.
The Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI)
The Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) (established in 1895) is a nationally represented employers' organization, which supports, promotes, represents and protects the economic interests of its members, contributing to the development of international economic cooperation and assisting for the European and international integration of the Republic of Bulgaria.
The Institute for the Study of Societies and Knowledge at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (ISSK – BAS)
The Institute for the Study of Societies and Knowledge at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (ISSK – BAS) was established in July 2010 by the General Assembly of the Academy as a successor to the Institute for Philosophical Research, The Institute of Sociology and the Center for Science Studies and History of Science.
The Institute for Social Integration (ISI)
The Institute for Social Integration (ISI) is an NGO established in 2002. Leading experts are amongst its founders - sociologists, political scientists, psychologists, lawyers, diplomats, economists, journalists. What unites them is the importance of the problems of integration and disintegration in our society; the topics of overcoming the social and economic disruption, alienation and social vulnerability. The main aspects of the work of the Institute are: trainings, research and scientific work, monitoring, discussion forums and publishing activities.
Confederation of Labour Podkrepa (CL Podkrepa)
Confederation of Labour Podkrepa (CL Podkrepa) is a nationally represented organization of employees in Bulgaria. Full members of the CL Podkrepa are national federations and national unions, as well as regional trade unions.
The Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria (CITUB)
The Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria (CITUB) is a nationally represented organization of employees, being the largest public organization in Bulgaria. It has more than 350 000 Bulgarian employees and has its own collective management bodies.
The Confederation of the Employers and Industrials in Bulgaria (CEIBG)
The Confederation of the Employers and Industrials in Bulgaria (CEIBG) is a nationally represented employers' organization, which unites more than 10 500 companies, collective and individual members. The mission of CEIBG is to be effective in improving the business climate in the country; to assist its members in sharing best business practices; to increase the competitiveness of the Bulgarian economy.
Ministry of Agriculture and Food
The Ministry of Agriculture and Food (MAF) implements the state policy in the field of agricultural science and vocational education and training in agriculture.
Ministry of Economy and Energy
TheMinistry of Economy and Energy (MEE) develops, organizes, coordinates and monitors the implementation of state policy in the field of economy, energy and tourism.
Ministry of Culture
TheMinistry of Culture (MC) develops, organizes, coordinates and monitors the implementation of the state policy in the field of culture.
Ministry of Youth and Sports
TheMinistry of Youth and Sports (MYS) carries out the state policy in the field of youth, sport and social tourism.
Ministry of Education and Science
The Ministry of Education and Science (MES) implements the state policy in the field of education and science. It develops and takes care of the implementation of concepts, strategies, programs and plans, in accordance with the national and European practice in the field of pre-school education, general education, vocational education and training, higher education and life-long learning. There are 28 Regional Education Inspectorates (territorial structures) responsible for the management and control of the state policy in the field of education on a local level. The Ministry of Education and Science is a National Coordinator for Adult Learning and National Support Service of EPALE.
Ministry of Defence
TheMinistry of Defence (MoD) is responsible for the implementation of the state policy in the field of defense.
Ministry of Labour and Social Policy
TheMinistry of Labour and Social Policy (MLSP) implements the state policy in the field of labour market, training of the workforce and integration of disadvantaged groups into the labor market.
National Agency for Vocational Education and Training
The National Agency for Vocational Education and Training (NAVET) is a state authority for licensing the activities in the vocational education and training system and coordination of the institutions involved in vocational guidance, training and education.
National Institute for Education and Training in the Education System
The National Institute for Education and Training in the Education System supports the implementation of the government policy in the sphere of secondary education.
The National Youth Forum
TheNational Youth Forum (NYF) is the largest formal platform of youth organizations in Bulgaria, uniting 35 non-governmental youth organizations.
The National Statistical Institute
The National Statistical Institute (NSI) carries out the statistical activities of the state by conducting periodic and one-off statistical surveys included in the National Statistical Programme.
Sofia Municipality (SM) is the largest municipality in Bulgaria with a population of 1,302,316 people.
Centre for Human Resources Development
TheCentre for Human Resources Development (HRDC) organizes, consults, coordinates and carries out projects and studies in the field of education, vocational education and training, labor market and human resources in Bulgaria.