High School Scholarships Program
One-year educational program in private schools in USA and UK for 10th grade students (based on a national merit based competition administered by the Bulgarian Reading Association and interviews with representatives of the international organizations providing scholarships to finalists; the program information and competition calendar is updated annually).
Financed by: ASSIST, USA (American Secondary Schools for International Students and Teachers (www.assistscholars.org) and HMC, UK (HMC Projects in Central & Eastern Europe, www.hmc.org.uk/projects).
Project dates: Administered by Bulgarian Reading Association since 2002.
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European Literacy Policy Network (ELINET)
(Contract No. EAC/S05/2013, http://eli-net.eu/)
The project unifies 78 partner organisations from 28 European countries (including 24 EU member states) engaged in literacy policy-making and reading promotion in Europe.
There are different types of organisations: Education ministries and national agencies; Existing literacy networks and national associations; International organisations (like UNESCO); Foundations and NGOs; Universities, research centres and teacher training institutions;Volunteer organizations.
The countries involved are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom.
ELINET strives to improve literacy policies in all member countries, reduce the number of children, young people and adults with low literacy skills in Europe, and help increase reading skills and reading for pleasure.
Financed by: European Commission,
Project dates: February 2014 – February 2016
Language and Literacy in Vocational Education and Training (LLIVET)
(Project No. 2011-1-GB2-LEO04-05370 11) http://inspirethinking.wix.com/project-llivet
The partnership brings together organizations involved in adult learning in Austria (Inspire – Verein für Bildung und Management), France (Radar B – https://sites.google.com/site/radarbre/), Switzerland (Schweizerisher Verband für Weiterbildung – http://www.alice.ch/ ) and Bulgaria (BulRA). The project aims to: increase awareness of the importance of basic skills in VET; identify examples of good practice; identify evidence on the effectiveness of different models of basic skills learning in VET; recommend areas for further research.
Financed by: European Commission within the framework of the Leonardo Da Vinci, Partnership Action, Life Long Learning Programme
Project site: Sofia
Project dates: August 1, 2011 – July 31, 2013
Results: 6 two-day workshops hosted by the partners; 6 Background Papers in preparation for workshops; 6 Briefing Papers summarising the main points of Workshops (links to case studies and literature); Having the partners interested in the topic increased and bringing some of the issues to project stage.
More Parents Associated for Learning
(Project No 230170-cp-1-2006-1-uk-grundtvig-G1)
The project brings together organizations involved in adult learning in Bulgaria (BulRA), Estonia (EstRA), Romania (RWCT, Romania) and Wales, UK (Cardiff Council). The project aims to empower parents to be more actively and effectively involved in their children’s education, school and community.
Financed by: European Commission within the framework of the Socrates “Grundtvig-Socrates”
Project site: Rousse (Northern Bulgaria)
Project dates: October 2006 – September 2008
Results: Training seminars for the national team members; workshop for the parents participating within the project; parents’ self help guides.
Academic Success for Roma Children
In partnership with other RWCT International Consortium members: Center for Education and Professional Development, Romania (CEPD); Romanian reading and Writing for Critical Thinking Association, Romania (RWCT, Romania); Development research Center for Pedagogical Initiatives Step by Step, Slovenia (SbS Slovenia); Nadacia Skola Dokoran, Slovakia (NSD); Forum for Freedom in Education, Croatia (FFE Croatia); Pro Didactica educational Center, Moldova (Pro Didactica).
Financed by: OSI, Budapest/RE:FINE Program
Project site: Razgrad, Rousse (Northern Bulgaria)
Project dates: September 2005 – August 2007
Results: 3 in-service trainings for the international teams oriented to: a) development of diagnostic instruments, in the languages of the participating countries, that can be used to assess children’s emergent literacy concepts; b) development of tutoring procedures, written up in training manuals, that are related to the diagnostic information revealed by the assessments. Field testing the assessments and tutoring strategies in each participating country. Translation of the training manual in the language of the partner countries. Disseminate the findings, including all training materials
Promoting Reading in Linguistically and Ethnically Diverse Communities
Realized in partnership with the European Committee (IDEC) of the International Reading Association (ILA). Reports presented by educators from several literacy associations (Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Ireland, Israel, Latvia, Macedonia, Romania, Spain, USA) and participants from 11 other European countries.
Financed by: IDEC & ILA
Project Site: Sofia
Project dates: January 2006
Promoting access to quality education and desegregation of Roma, Year II and III
The project is realized in partnership with OSI, Sofia ( http://osi.bg ). It is an in-service training initiative for educators, working in schools with primarily Roma children and parents of students from the participating schools; follow up on-site monitoring and consultations; providing teachers with techniques working towards achieving quality education as a prerequisite for social desegregation of Roma; promoting and development of civic education for parents and educators, especially advocacy and lobbying for specific local causes.
Financed by: OSI, Budapest & OSI, Sofia.
Project Site: Blagoevgrad (South Western Bulgaria); Glozhene (Vratsa Region) & Lom (North Western Bulgaria).
Project dates: June 2005 – October 2006; July 2004 – July 2005
Results: 3 educational seminars for school teams from the project sites (teachers and school heads) as well as parents; 3 training brochures; follow-up monitoring and consultations in the pilot schools; summer schools for the students from the participating schools; round table for project participants and representatives of state and local authorities.
Promoting access to quality education and desegregation of Roma, Year I
In-service training project for educators, working in schools with primarily Roma children; on-site monitoring of classes and activities of participants and their students; summer schools providing extracurricular activities oriented to promoting the interest of children and parents towards learning and school in general as an interactive territory.
Financed by: OSI, Budapest & OSI, Sofia
Project Site: 3 schools in Blagoevgrad (South Western Bulgaria), Glozene, Vratsa Region & Lom (North Western Bulgaria)
Project dates: June 2003 – July 2004
Results: 3 educational seminars for teachers and school heads based on the RWCT program; monitoring and consultations in the pilot schools; 3 on-site summer schools for the students from the participating schools; a round table for project participants and representatives of state and local authorities.
Reading and Writing for Critical Thinking (RWCT) Program
The establishing of the Bulgarian Reading Association (BulRA) was strongly influenced and triggered by the international Reading and Writing for Critical Thinking (RWCT) Program (http://www.rwctic.org/), being an ILA project. Many of BulRA’s projects are connected with or based on the RWCT philosophy and model.
The first RWCT activities were launched in 1997 promoting concepts and methods for active learning and critical thinking to classrooms in several Central and Eastern Europe and later on in almost all countries going further to some countries in Asia as well. Since then, more than 50,000 teachers and 2 million students in many countries have taken part in the program, which was originally sponsored by the Open Society Institute New York (OSI), and coordinated by the International Reading Association, the University of Northern Iowa, and Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Bulgaria joined the program in 1998.
This program offers a great variety of interactive methods for teaching, joint in theoretical model suitable for different subjects. It is based on more than 60 strategies and could be implemented in primary and secondary school as well as on university level.
Through RWCT teachers learn to help students
- read and listen with understanding,
- engage in insightful discussions,
- relate learning to life,
- work cooperatively to solve problems,
- write to learn,
- conduct community-based inquiries.
This is done by:
- planning active lessons,
- creating thematic units,
- developing authentic assessments that evaluate learning processes as well as mastery of content.
RWCT is featured by the International Bureau of Education (IBE), which is an international center for the content of education (the first intergovernmental organization in the field of education), as one of 25 recommended practices for crisis prevention and peace building drawn from around the world.
The Program in Bulgaria – The program was launched in Bulgaria in 1998. In 2001 BulRA got the licence to continue administering the program and has continued working along this line ever since.
Meanwhile different trainings were organized covering the whole program modules or part of them for hundreds of teachers and educators from all over the country as well as university students (within the framework of elective or regular courses as part of the curriculum of different majors).
National conference “Active Learning and Critical Thinking”
BulRA national conference brought together a number of active participants, partners (university, school associates and representatives of Regional Educational Inspectorates, Ministry of Education and Science) and many other professionals working with the RWCT (Reading and Writing for Critical Thinking) program. The program is focused on educational strategies and offers more than 60 methodological techniques, based on the logical instruction and learning.
Financed by: International Reading Association
Project site: Sofia
Project dates: April 2005
Results: Papers from the conference on a CD
Equal chance – investment for the future
This is a project for educators, advisors and school heads, working in schools with linguistically and ethnically diverse students. The trainings are based on the RWCT program. BulRA is the leading organization in a consortium with the Regional Department of Education, Silistra and the Association of Women, Iskra village, Silistra region.
Financed by: Foundation for Interethnic initiatives for Human Rights, Sub Program “School against ethnic discrimination and intolerance”
Project site: 9 small settlements in 2 municipalities – Sitovo and Glavinitsa, Silistra Region (North Eastern Bulgaria)
Project dates: October 2003 – July 2004
Results: 3 trainings for teachers and educators; special activities dedicated to issues related to discrimination and tolerance; thematic radio broadcasts prepared by students; final round table discussions with project participants, local authorities and policy officials.
European Volunteer Service Year I and II
One-year program in Italy giving an opportunity to young people (aged 18-25) to travel, discover and meet the culture, language and history of the country and to realize community service as well working at a social institution.
Financed by: Youth and Sports State Agency, “Youth” Program, Bulgaria
Project dates: July 2003 – July 2004, July 2002 – July 2003
Active Learning and Critical Thinking at the University
Promoting quality education at university – in-service seminars facilitated by Bulgarian, English and US trainers based on the RWCT program for faculty from different universities in Bulgaria (Sofia University, New Bulgrian University, Veliko Tarnovo University, Plovdiv University, South Western University-Blagoevgrad).
Financed by: OSI, New York
Project dates: January 2003 – August 2003
Active Learning and Critical Thinking supporting good practices
Training seminars for teachers and educators from different regions in Bulgaria based on the international RWCT program, oriented to interactive instruction and cooperative learning.
Financed by: OSI, New York
Project dates: September 2001 – September 2002
Education Against Corruption
Projects in this section:
- International Project “Education against corruption”
- National Project “Victim of corruption? No way!”
Diverse anticorruption political and civic initiatives were launched in democratic states over the recent years. Actions against corruption are supported by the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization fo Development and Cooperation, the European Union athe United Nations. Transparency International (TI) is one of the international specialized organizations.
Reduction of the level of corruption is neither an easy nor a quick process. Corruption may be caused by various interrelated and individual factors, including: improper economic policy, low level of public education, weak civic society, lack of accountability of traditions. Moreover, the growing global economy and new technologies bring about new forms of corruption. They are not easy to identify, understand and control.
Corruption is considered to be a major problem in the countries in Central and Eastern Europe during their time of transition to democracy and market economy. It turned out to be one of the serious impediments in the period of transition since corruption creates environment for diminishing the efficiency of government and the reforms initiated.
In an environment of a global tendency towards transparency and accountability the problems are not related to corruption alone. They refer also to processes like increasing transparency in government, guarantee of individual rights and freedom, etc.
The international community and the respective governments in most countries admit the increasing role and importance of NGOs fighting corruption. Taking into account the danger of corruption, NGOs and public institutions in Bulgaria undertook a series of actions towards establishing a public-private coalition against corruption.
Thus, in April, 1998 Coalition 2000 was launched as a result of the initiative of the Center for the Study of Democracy and a number of other Bulgarian NGOs. Coalition 2000 is an initiative of a number of Bulgarian non-governmental organizations aimed at combating corruption through a process of cooperation among governmental institutions, NGOs and individuals drafting an Anti-Corruption Action Plan for Bulgaria, and implementing an awareness campaign and a monitoring system. The main objective of the Coalition 2000 is to enhance the awareness, adoption and practical implementation of democratic values such as transparency, trust and integrity.
Institutions working in the field of corruption prevention in Bulgaria:
- Commission for Coordination of the Activity for Combat with Corruption (ACC), with the Council of Ministers – established in 2002 .
- Combating Corruption Committee with the Parliament of Bulgaria – established in September 2002.
- Combating Corruption Committee with the Supreme Legal Committee – established in January 2001
- Regional Anti-corruption Public Councils.
Documents related to preventing and combating corruption:
- National Anti-corruption Strategy – October 2001.
- Action plan for the implementation of the National Anti-corruption Plan (No.1 – 2002, for the period 2003 – 2004; No.2 – 2003, for the period 2004 – 2005).
- Strategy for combating corruption in the legal system – February 2004.
A series of activities have been implemented in the sphere of education. The overall goal was tthe young people to receive update information about this social phenomenon, and at the same time, to increase their knowledge about issues like: the role and functions of the state institutions, the formation of the state budget and taxes, the work of local authorities, the need in transparency and accountability in the work of state institutions, as well as their civil rights and obligations. In the fall of 2004, the Ministry of Science and Education officially introduced a curriculum for an elective course on Anti-corruption in secondary schools.
This website was developed to present information about educational and anti-corruption projects carried out by or in cooperation with the Bulgarian Reading Association as follows:
- “Education against Corruption” 2005 – 2007 – an international project of RWCT International Consortium (BulRA is one of the partners). The Bulgarian translation of the resource pack resulting from the project is also available (see “Publications”);
- “Victim of corruption? No way!” 2005 – 2006 – a national project.
Partnership in Projects
National Reading Competition (Precious words about Bulgaria)
BulRA is a partner of “Mariana Hill” Interpretorium (www.interpretorium.com). It is oriented to a wide audience, in 3 age groups. It aims to promote reading and interest in Bulgarian literature by selecting abstracts of pieces of Bulgarian poets and writers describing Bulgaria, its people, culture, traditions.
Project dates: May – November 2006
Result: The finalists in the 3 categories visit the St. Metodi memorial in Elvangen, Germany
Peace Corp Projects in Yambol and Tutrakan
Project designed by Peace Corps volunteers in the respective areas and oriented to quality education via in-service training of teachers. The training seminars are based on the RWCT project.
Financed by: Peace corps, with the support of the Regional Library in Yambol, the Regional Department of Education in Yambol and the Municipality of Tutrakan.
Project dates: October 2005 – April 2006 (Tutrakan), October 2002 – March 2003 (Yambol)
Results: 3 training seminars for each project; establishing a library resource center in the Regional Library in Yambol with materials about the project and resources for professional development provided by BulRA.
Promoting Literacy for Roma Children and Young People – in partnership with “Next Page” Foundation (leading organization – www.nextpage.org) and “Critical Thinking” Inc. (training and resource materials – www.criticalthinkinginternational.org), BulRA – project consultant and participating in training facilitation.
Participants: Educators and NGO representatives working with the Roma communities in Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Romania and Serbia.
Financed by: “Next Page” (European Cultural Foundation project)
Project date: July 2005
Results: In-service trainings for partner teams and succeeding qualification seminars and activities for and with agents from the communities within the countries.
Your chances, my chances, our chances
The project is realized as a joint initiative of the German and the Bulgarian Reading Associations. Bulgarian and German students study and analyze various aspects of their prospective education and career development in their home country, their partners’ country and in the framework of United Europe as well. The Bulgarian team visits their German partner. Cultural visits accompany the joint work. Team presentations for peers, teachers.
Financed by: CE, “Youth for Europe” Programme, “Youth Agency”,Germany.
Project date: February 2005 –June 2005
Your world, my world, our world. (Bulgaria and Germany represented in the national media of partner country)
A joint project of the German Reading Association (http://www.dgls.org) and Bulgarian Reading Association (BulRA). Bulgarian and German young people learn and analyze information about the country of their partner with view development of intercultural understanding. The German team visits their Bulgarian counterpart. The two teams make a joint presentation for peers, teachers and a wider audience.
Financed by: CE, Youth for Europe Programme, Youth Agency, Germany
Project dates: July – November 2004
Environmental education – working with the “Green Pack”
The project is realized in partnership with the Ministry of Environment and “Borrowed Nature” Foundation and with active cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science (in-service trainings for educators in different subject areas oriented promoting active citizenship in the sphere of the preservation of environment).
Financed by: Ministry of Foreign Affairs within the Communication Strategy Programme.
Project site: various towns and cities in Bulgaria
Project dates: June – November 2004
Results: in-service trainings for teachers across the country by integration of interactive teaching techniques for achieving quality education.
Professional Development for Young University Faculty – in partnership with Civic Education Project (CEP), Budapest; for young university faculty from Bulgaria, Moldova and Romania.
Financed by: CEP (Civic Education Project), Budapest
Project dates: June 2002 – March 2003
Results: training seminars for young university faculty, oriented to methods for active learning and interactive teaching for achieving quality education.
Supporting the Educational Reform
The Bulgarian Reading Association is a partner of some Regional Departments of Education and schools in projects, financed by OSI, Sofia. In-service trainings for teachers, school heads and educators (in Targovishte, Silistra, Veliko Tarnovo, Gabrovo and Razgrad) oriented to the reforming and modernization of education.
Financed by: OSI, Sofia
Project dates: in 2002
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