09.07.2019Voting determined the most active schools in Amalipe's network for the 2018/2019 academic year

At the beginning of June, Amalipe Center announced online voting for the most active school in the "Every student will be a winner - 2" for the academic year 2018-2019. All participants attended the 16th Roma Children's Festival could also give their voices. 

The defined criteria were:

- participation in national meetings of school principals

- promoting the school activities in social media

- media coverage

- successful implementation of the elements of "Every student will be a winner- 2" Program 

- multiplying the model

- innovation in a multicultural environment

- sharing good practices within the web

The online voting and the voting on the spot during the Festival defined the school winner of each region, and they are as follows:

NORTH WEST REGION - "Hristo Smirnenski" Secondary school, town of Koinare

NORTH CENTRAL REGION - "St. Kliment Ohridski" Secondary school, town of Suhindol

NORTH EAST REGION 1 (Shumen, Razgrad, Targovishte) - "Georgi Stoykov Rakovski" Primary School, village of Golyamo Novo

NORTH EAST REGION 2 (Varna, Dobrich, Silistra, Rousse) - "St. Cyril and Methodius" Primary School, village of Staro Oryahovo

SOUTH EAST REGION - "Peyo K. Yavorov" Primary school, town of Kardzhali

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION - "Hristo Botev" United school, Dulgo pole

SOUTH WEST REGION -  "Peyo Kr. Yavorov" Vocational school, town of Gotse Delchev

The winners will receive their plate awards from the respective educational expert. We thank everyone who voted. We are thankful to all the other schools in the network without which it would not have been so successful, inspiring and driving the children across the country to believe in themselves and their abilities. 

It is an honor for us to work with you all.

09.07.201979 schools and kindergartens are receiving funds for working with parents under the national program Together for every child

Seventy-nine schools and kindergartens are receiving funds under the "Good Practices for Working with Parents of Preschool and School Education Institutions" component of the national program "Together for Every Child". The total funding of the component is BGN 151,653 with the value of a single project varying to 2000 BGN.

The projects of 27 kindergartens, 24 primary schools, 13 secondary schools, three unified schools, nine vocational high schools and three elementary schools were supported. A total of 17 of these educational institutions are located in villages and the rest are in small and big towns. The trainings within the module need to be provided by external experts or juridical entities.

Eligible activities on the component include:

- Information campaigns on the role of education among parents, and the community where children live;

- Activities to involve parents / families in school life, and motivating them to educate their children through trainings, group discussions, lectures, etc .;

- Trainings for parents to recognize and prevent negative events between children and students, such as discrimination, aggression, violence, harassment, etc .;

- Organizing initiatives to promote good practices in the interaction of institutions to enroll and involve children and students in education.

The module and the entire national program were piloted in 2018 and the interest in them was extremely high. During 2019 hundreds of schools have applied to work with parents. Unfortunately, the limited funding for the module has led to the fact that most of these projects will not be supported, although their value in 2019 is significantly lower than in the previous year.

Center Amalipe wishes success to all supported schools and kindergartens. We also turn to our partners from the Ministry of Education and Science to support the expansion of the module funding in the coming year, making it possible to approve a significantly larger number of schools and kindergarten projects. 

List of approved schools and kindergartens see here

09.07.2019Events for sharing results of the Springboard to school research project

Nearly 68% of Roma children attend kindergarten and other forms of pre-school education, but this is still significantly lower than the average for the country. One third of the children from vulnerable groups do not participate in any form of pre-school education, which prevents their socialization and easy integration into school. The abolition of kindergarten fees leads to an almost immediate positive change: half of the non-attendant Roma children are enrolled and the attendance increases by over one fifth. This was confirmed by the results of the Springboard to School research project of the Trust for Social Achievement Foundation. Amalipe Center as the project coordinating organization of the Central Northern Bulgaria presented the results through a series of events aimed at municipal administrations, kindergartens and parent communities in the Veliko Tarnovo and Shumen districts.

Meetings were organized in the municipalities of Pavlikeni, Strazhitsa, Novi Pazar and Shumen. Guests of the events and active participants were municipal councilors, mayors, representatives of municipal administration, heads of kindergartens, representatives of civil society, public figures and informal leaders. Besides the presentations of the project results, Deyan Kolev, Silvia Stancheva and Teodora Krumova presented the main challenges for the development of kindergartens and pre-school education as well as the Active Inclusion project. Almost all participating principals shared their impressions that implementing the Springboard to School project and paying the kindergarten fee resulted in bigger number of children being enrolled in them. 

The participants agreed that the removal of financial barriers is an important strategic investment that needs to be made to ensure full coverage in pre-school education. There different opinions about whether this should be provided by the relevant municipality or made via a national decision. In many smaller municipalities the main obstacle to the implementation of this important decision is the lack of sufficient funds in the municipal budget. The possibility of the Council of Ministers to help the municipalities by providing free food for the kindergartens and the whole day organization of the training process in the preparatory classes was welcomed by the participants.

At the same time, many have said that the abolition of fees can not be the only step. Suitable material base is also a serious problem.  Even in some of the smaller municipalities there are no buildings, appropriate for kindergartens, and for large municipalities this need is particularly acute. In rural areas, the problem is practically irresolvable, as the Rural Development Program hardly offers opportunities for educational infrastructure. The MES should support the municipalities and provide modern facilities. 

For more information about the meeting in Shumen see here

Information about the event in Strazhitsa municipality see here

Information about the event in Pavlikeni municipality see here 

Springboard to School project was implemented in the period 2014 - 2018 in 120 municipalities. Its goal was to increase the enrollment and attendance of children from vulnerable communities in kindergartens in order to increase their school readiness, which would support their chances of better education and better jobs in the future. The project was implemented by the Trust for Social Achievement Foundation in cooperation with the World Bank Impact Assessment Strategic Fund. Amalipe Center for Interethnic Dialogue and Tolerance was coordinating the project activities in several areas of Central and Northeastern Bulgaria. Activities included coverage of kindergarten fees, medical examinations, teaching aids, etc., as well as lectures with parents to increase their motivation and their inclusion in the educational life of their children.

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