site.btaEducation Minister Opens Forum on Role of Private Companies in Education
The conference "The Critical Role of Private Companies for an Effective Vocational Education System" opened at the Henry Ford School of Transportation and Energy in Sofia on Thursday. "About three decades ago, the so-called dual training system was born out of the cooperation between Bulgaria and Switzerland, based on Bulgarian experience and long-standing traditions in vocational education, recognized as one of the best in Europe. The Swiss experience in Bulgaria helped the revival of work-based learning," said the caretaker Minister of Education and Science Sasho Penov at the forum.
The conference is organized by the Swiss Embassy in Sofia, the Ministry of Education and Science, and the Bulgarian-Swiss Chamber of Commerce.
Over the last five years, cooperation between schools and companies has been expanding under the project "Swiss support for the introduction of dual track principles in the Bulgarian vocational education system", better known as DOMINO. The number of pupils in dual-track education is increasing - from 353 in the 2015/2016 school year to 11,705 in the current school year. "More than 70% of the graduates are now working in the companies where they gained their experience," the Education Minister said.
The pupils in dual education receive scholarships from eighth to tenth grade. The project to support the dual system is funded under the Operational Programme "Science and Education for Smart Growth" with BGN 24 million. It involved 159 schools, 8,495 pupils, 694 employers, 761 teachers trained and 881 industry mentors, Penov pointed out.
The forum was also addressed by the Swiss Ambassador to Bulgaria Raymund Furrer.