“Innovative schools and creative teachers are those who will change the education system, not the Ministry of Education and Science, or the regional education directions”, the Minister of Education, Krasimir Valchev declared at the opening of the Innovations in Education National Forum. “The drama of today’s education is that it comes from the time of mass production – with the characteristics of a production system and dominant culture of standardization. Since the world is becoming more and more complex, interrelated, diverse and dynamic which is why today’s education system should look more like an organism not like a production system “, the Minister added.
“We are definitely living in a different world. It is absolutely pointless to try to push into the head of the student even more knowledge with ambiguous result“, Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev stated. „Most of the information they need is only a few clicks of the mouse away, it is also available after several touches of the fingers on the phone. On the other hand, far more important is learning to learn; to filter the information that floods us and see what is valuable and what is genuine“, the Deputy Prime Minister also said.
Boyan Zahariev (Open Society Institute – Sofia) summarized the results from the first two years of the Innovations in Secondary School Program of the MES on behalf of the Evaluation and Monitoring Committee of innovative schools, before nearly 600 participants at the national forum. The results show that the most strongly represented among the innovative schools are the private and the vocational ones; and that innovative schools are unevenly distributed in a territorial aspect, though in all administrative regions there are such schools already. “Besides, Zahariev pointed out, innovative schools are larger than a typical school. Often they are situated in municipalities with higher incomes, and students there have a higher average grade of all exams from the national external evaluation after the 4th and 7th grade, as well as at the state matriculation exams.” There is a similar tendency in terms of dropping out from school: a larger share of the innovative schools have a low dropout rate of students”, Boyan Zahariev also said.
The interactive education, new technologies, game approaches and creating of connections between the school subjects, including the creating of new subjects are among the most frequently mentioned innovation elements. “Innovations based on overall (unconventional, reformation) pedagogical approaches covering all aspects of education and various thematic ranges, however, are relatively few”, Zahariev added.
An exhibition of projects and products from innovative schools and other companies took place during the forum as well.