As of the first school day on 15 September, around 800 students in 30 vocational schools in 19 towns across Bulgaria will be enrolled in a dual form of education “learning by working” within the DOMINO Project of the Bulgarian-Swiss Cooperation Programme.
The business in Bulgaria has shown an unprecedented commitment to dual education: as DOMINO partners more than 170 companies will provide trainings, mentors and paid work opportunities to the students, parallel to their studying at school.
„The proactiveness of the business to be part of dual education exceeded all of our expectations. The companies have shown willingness to share with the state not only the costs of the vocational education, but also the responsibility for its quality”, says Petya Evtimova, DOMINO team leader. Of the 170 companies involved in the DOMINO Project, of which 70% are entirely Bulgarian. "Not only large enterprises are joining the system of dual education, 60% of the project partners are small and medium-sized enterprises. 80% of the participating companies are in the sectors of the heavy industry and energy, while 20% are in the light industry and tourism”, added Evtimova.
The DOMINO students will have a choice of eight professional occupations: technician for machines with computerized numerical control, technologist in the production of milk and dairy products, electrotechnician, mechanic of energy facilities and installations, cook, technician of transport equipment, technician of electronic engineering and technician-technologist in wood-processing.
Dual education under the Swiss model is disseminated across the country: Sofia, Pleven, Ruse, Dobrich, Burgas, Yambol, Sliven, Kazanlak, Stara Zagora, Plovdiv, Pernik, Kyustendil, Sevlievo, Zlatitsa, Varna, Sandanski, Troyan, Radomir and Panagyurishte.
The Bulgarian-Swiss project DOMINO started in 2015 with two professional schools - in Sofia and Kazanlak - and two professional occupations. A year later the project expanded to five professions, 16 schools, 424 students and 63 companies-partners in 11 Bulgarian cities.
In May 2017, 20 students from the Vocational School “Ivan Hadzhienov” in Kazanlak received a DOMINO certificate for dual education under the Swiss model “learning by working”, which complements their diplomas from the high school and the document of professional qualification for machine technicians. The majority of them work in the companies where they gained labour experience, while several went to university.
With a total budget of 3,5 million Swiss francs, DOMINO, Dual education for the modern requirements and needs of society, supports the reforms in the system of the professional education. Since 2015 it is introducing the modern dual-track training based of the Bulgarian traditions and the experience of Switzerland, the country with the world’s recognized system of the dual training and the lowest youth unemployment rates. Gradually, the hours in a real work environment will grow and at the end of their education the students will spend two days a week at school, while in the other three days they will be working and paid in companies which are part of the dual educational system. Until 2019 the project will involve 1 200 students in more than 30 vocational schools, as well as ten occupations.
For more information, please, follow the DOMINO website http://dominoproject.bg/,
as well as its Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/swissdualeducationbulgaria/