Improving the educational level of the population requires a comprehensive solution to a wide range of issues, among which the main focus is on improving the quality of primary and secondary education. Project management education, for example, will change in the coming years in some European countries.
Modernization of education in secondary and higher schools
In the last five years, the Ministry of Education and Science has been carrying out activities for the modernization of education in secondary and higher schools. Much of the state’s educational requirements have been adopted, and a 12-year training cycle has been introduced. Since the 2003-2004 school year, compulsory training has been implemented one year before enrollment in the first grade, a new curriculum, new curricula, and new textbooks have been developed and are being phased in. However, their practical application also highlights some imperfections in the content overload of the curricula, insufficient synchronization between the allocation of the curricular time in the curriculum and the volume of the content in the individual subjects, the orientation of the system to saving and reproduction, inspiring, independence and skills formation. Read The quality of education and certification around the world and Europe article on KievPress.
General education must concentrate on one specific set of competencies
To meet the Lisbon criteria, general education must concentrate on one specific set of competences. The national measurement of this set of competencies, crucial for the development of society and the successful realization of the individual within it, has so far proved impossible due to the lack of a system of national standardized assessment of student achievement.
Assessment of the quality of primary and secondary education
An assessment of the quality of primary and secondary education in Europe can be found in the results of the international TIMSSS survey, used as criteria by UNESCO, and underpinning the European indicators on the quality of education.
Information on the achievements of students in elementary and upper secondary education in mathematics and science shows that the traditionally high level of some European countries is sharply declining. From leading among the 50 countries observed in the 1995 survey to the ninth place in mathematics and to the fifth in natural sciences, which is a firm leader, eastern European countries comes down to 17th place in mathematics and 16th in science in 1999, and in 2003 the decline in the quality of education was up to 25th and 24th in both districts respectively.
Similar trends are reflected in the testimony of literacy studies, as well as those in the education of entrepreneurial and civic skills through the educational system examined by PIRLS and PISA. Against the background of a declining level of literacy and a lack of skills for adaptation in real life in young people, the need to build an effective and functioning standardized system for external assessment of students’ knowledge and skills is of particular importance. Business skills and management competencies can be easily introduced to students and young people so the education needs to catch up with these modern teaching principles and practices.
An important prerequisite for improving the quality of school education is the system for monitoring and controlling the teaching process
An important prerequisite for improving the quality of school education is also the system for monitoring and controlling the teaching process, as well as for the management and functioning of the school as a whole. Read How MBA (Master of Business Administration) education can boost our careers.
The current methods and approaches for inspecting the learning process are proving outdated and ineffective. There is no systematic procedure for schools to evaluate their performance, nor is there any potential for promoting such activity.
Schools have no attempt to develop plans for individual schools to activate or eliminate the particularities of the environment, human and material resources, and the needs of learners. There is no developed system for self-assessment and planning of the activities of the schools themselves, which meets the Bulgarian conditions and the European standards. This predetermines the need to introduce a system of external evaluation of the work of teachers, principals, and experts through periodic inspection of clear indicators.
Modernization of European education and its synchronization with European practices
The modernization of European education and its synchronization with European practices require the transformation of injection into a tool for reporting on the quality of education, which necessitates significant changes both in regulations and in structures and methods of inspection.
The management of the school education system in Europe
The management of the school education system in Europe is lagging behind the contemporary realities and dynamics of public life. The system is highly centralized, and decisions are made at a level too far from those who will implement them and those that directly affect them. There are practically no opportunities for civic participation and control over management decisions.
People often perceive the education system as something that develops independently and even in spite of their needs and desires. The lack of greater powers of school directors does not help to increase the efficiency of the use of school resources, to promote flexibility and innovation in school management, and to stimulate intense public participation.
The centralized approach enables not only the implementation of school policy but also the implementation of a regional education policy that takes into account the demographic, socio-economic, and other characteristics of each region and the individual municipality.
Optimization of the school network.
The analysis of the kindergartens, schools and service units can be concluded: Although in the villages there are 47.9% of all schools that are part of the school network of the country, the percentage of schools providing secondary education is only 8.85%, and the percentage of schools providing vocational education is only 5%.
To ensure the reach of students within the existing education network, its purposeful restructuring is needed to support relatively vibrant villages and small towns, to deinstitutionalize children with special educational needs and to create opportunities for their socialization, to improve the material and technical base, providing information technology, building an architecturally and psychologically adapted environment for integrated learning of children with special educational needs and from minority production, providing opportunities for the transportation of students to enhance their educational development. See how good habits and skills are developed in children just for 90 days to see how not-traditional education can benefit society.
Foreign language education
In the field of foreign language education, Europe has strong traditions and achievements. In recent years, early foreign language education has been increasingly entering the initial stages of primary education. According to NSI data for the 2004-2005 school year, the relative share of children in mainstream schools learning foreign languages in elementary grades (grades I-IV) is 66.6% or 17.0 points higher than the previous school year, and for secondary education as overall 87.3%, an increase of 17.4%.
With the average number of languages studied 1.3 in primary and 1.6 in secondary education in 25 European countries, the number of foreign languages studied per student in Bulgaria was registered respectively 1.1 in primary and 1.8 in secondary education, which is comparable to the European level.
The highest interest is in English calling, which is studied by 74.7% of foreign language learners. Against the background of the intensive introduction of foreign language training and the increased interest on the part of the students, there is a shortage of competent foreign language teachers and their lack of qualification.
Along with foreign languages, the basic prerequisite and guarantee for living and working in the new information society is the ability to work with information technologies. Their socio-economic potential is directly linked to both access to and access to the labor market.
In Bulgaria, the dissemination and implementation of modern information and communication technologies in the education system are still insufficient and this hurts the quality of education.
According to Eurydice data, in 2000, the student-computer ratio at school for the 15-year-olds in Bulgaria is 46: 6, and our country ranks one of the last places together with Romania (50: 8). For the same year, our country has one of the lowest percentages of school computers connected to the Internet at 28.5%.
The importance of using computers throughout training
Given the importance of using computers throughout training, many measures have been taken in recent years to ensure access to the Internet for everyone, as evidenced by the National Strategy for the Introduction of Information and Communication Technologies adopted by the NA. In the implementation of the Strategy and the Plan for its implementation, in the school year 2004-2005, a new computer room in all schools is equipped in the schools. There is a gradual introduction of e-learning in the classroom.
The bigger problem is that teaching methods at schools and universities are outdated and do not meet modern requirements. Teachers themselves do not use the power of computers and information on the Internet to improve the quality and efficiency of the educational process. This predetermines the need for additional funding for the widespread use of computers and the Internet in the educational process in public schools and universities, as well as investments in the motivation and qualification of teachers.
In this direction, the trends related to regulation of the teaching profession as regulated; quality of education; introduction of civic education and ICT in training; early language training; working in a multicultural environment and conducting intercultural dialogue; integration of children with special educational needs; interaction and cooperation with family, public and non-governmental organizations; career development of teaching staff; the functioning of cross-border qualification systems.
The change in the qualification of teaching staff requires continuous training to be in line with European legislation in the field of teacher training and qualification. The need to change the profile of specialists due to the dynamics of the market, as well as the mismatch between prepared human resources and the needs of consumers in society, requires the planning of qualifications for acquiring new and additional knowledge and professional skills.