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NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON INCLUSIVE EDUCATION AT THE UNIVERSITY OF PLOVDIV

Today, under the patronage of the Minister of Education and Science Prof. Dr. Galin Tsokov, the National Conference “Actual Challenges and Good Practices in Inclusive Education” was held at Plovdiv University “Paisiy Hilendarski”.

The forum is organized by the Faculty of Pedagogy of the University of Plovdiv “Paisiy Hilendarski”, the Union of Bulgarian Teachers and RCPPPO – Plovdiv. The conference was opened by Dr. Yanka Takeva – Chairman of the Union of Bulgarian Teachers.

The Minister of Education and Science, Prof. Dr. Galin Tsokov, welcomed the participants; Prof. Dr. Boryan Yanev – Deputy Rector of “Paisiy Hilendarski” PU on behalf of the Rector of the Higher School, Prof. Dr. Rumen Mladenov; Prof. Ph.D. Nataliya Vitanova – Marinova – Rector of the “Ep. Konstantin Preslavski”; Prof. Dr. Vladimira Angelova – Dean of the Faculty of Pedagogy of PU “Paisiy Hilendarski” and vice-rector of the university; Dr. Maria Yankova – Program Director “Education” UNICEF – Bulgaria; Dr. Katya Stoilova – Director of the RCPPPO Plovdiv.

The guests of the National Conference were: Nataliya Michalevska – head of the Minister’s office; Ivanka Kirkova – head of the Plovdiv Regional Police Department; Dimitar Asenov – director of the National Center for the Advancement of the Qualification of Pedagogical Specialists (NCPCPS); Antoinette Al-Husari – Deputy Director of the National Center for the Protection of Civil Aviation; Dr. Irena Dushkova – director of SU “St. Paisius of Hilendar”; Plamen Stoilov – director of SU “P.K. Yavorov”; Andrean Lazarov – national consultant on vocational education and training and Executive Director of Bulgarian Inclusion Support Team”; Dr. Irena Sokolova; Michele Santorelli – Chairman of the Foundation “Creators of Hope”; teachers, students and doctoral students from the Faculty of Education.

The national conference was held in a hybrid format: face-to-face and remote, with over 250 participants and presented a symbiosis of academic theory and good practices of inclusive education.

Reports on current topics and challenges to inclusive education were presented by Prof. Ph.D. Dora Levterova – Gadzhalova from PU “Paisiy Hilendarski”, where she focused also on the IM-PRO-IN-DE project and its results.

Directors and resource teachers from 20 RCPPPO from the country and directors and resource teachers from schools with their own Teams to support the process of inclusive education presented good practices in inclusive education.

Students from the “Inclusive Education” student club, the team from the University Center for Career Development, the team from the Department for Qualification and Professional Development of Pedagogical Specialists, the team from the administrative staff of the Faculty of Pedagogy at the PU were actively involved in the process of organizing the conference.

In lively discussions, significant current and prospective issues facing inclusive education were discussed, with an emphasis on inclusive digital education in secondary and higher education in the country.

The IM-PRO-IN-DE project promoted during the 33rd EURASHE Conference “Stronger Together” – 22-23 May 2024, St. Polten, Austria

On 22 and 23 May 2024, in Sankt Pölten, Austria, the 33rd Annual conference by EURASHE on the theme: “Stronger together: Promoting transnational cooperation” took place. Mr. Andrean Lazarov, the CEO of the Bulgarian Inclusion Support Team was among the key panelists together with Mrs. Sophia Eriksson Waterschoot – the General Director for Youth, Education and Erasmus+ at the European Commission’s Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture as well as representatives of Šiauliai State UAS, Thomas More UAS, Burgenland UAS, under the moderation of Mr. Michal Karpišek – member of the European Alliance E³UDRES².

Mr. Andrean Lazarov, Bulgarian Inclusion Support Team with Mrs. Sophia Eriksson Waterschoot – the General Director for Youth, Education and Erasmus+ at the European Commission’s Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture

During his speech, Mr. Lazarov presented the advantages of the Erasmus+ programme towards transnational cooperation and gave particular examples with different EU projects, where BIST is involved.

Mr. Andrean Lazarov with Mr. Hannes Raffaseder – President of EURASHE

Presentation of the project at the II seminar on Neurodiversity and emerging technologies in Burgos, Spain – 05 March 2024

The IM-PRO-IN-DE project was presented by the Portuguese partners IPB and its representative Mr. Vitor Gonsalves at the II seminar on Neurodiversity and emerging technologies in Burgos, Spain – 05 March 2024. He presented the project concept and gathered feedback from the auidence in terms of possible content of the project results.

Presentation of the project during X Conferência Ibérica de Inovação na Educação com TIC (ieTIC2024) on 15-16 February 2024 at Câmara de Lobos – Madeira, Portugal

The IM-PRO-IN-DE project was presented during X Conferência Ibérica de Inovação na Educação com TIC (ieTIC2024), which was held on 15 and 16 February 2024 at Câmara de Lobos in Madeira, Portugal by Mr. Vitor Gonsalves from the Polytechnical institute in Braganca, Portugal (project partner).

He presented in detail the project concept and the expected results. He gathered initial feedback from the audience, which mainly represented the higher education sector from all over Europe and Latin America. Initial exploitation negotiations were established as well.

Online broadcasting from the event is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlGEf8m6Jjg

Dissemination of the project by IPB team during IN2COP – International Conference on co-creation processes in Higher education – 30 January – 01 February 2024, Braganca, Portugal

Co-creating Innovation have long been integral to the mission of Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, underpinning their commitment to fostering future-oriented higher education that addresses the complex challenges of the world of work. Within STARS EU, their Strategic Alliance for Regional Transition funded in the European Universities Initiative, they have adopted a pedagogical approach that places significant emphasis on fostering inherent collaboration with external stakeholders from all regions of our nine european partners. This commitment is driven by their understanding that the vitality of higher education institutions, professors, researchers, and students is profoundly intertwined with the benefits derived from these co-creation activities. Furthermore, their vision extends globally, as they proactively aim to facilitate the growth of a knowledge-driven regional economies through robust international cooperation.

In this spirit, the International Conference on Co-Creation Processes in Higher Education (In2CoP) serves as a crucial platform for reflection and the sharing of insights garnered from co-creation ecosystems. This event was designed to inspire and sustain the growth of a multidisciplinary and multicultural learning community, one that is fully equipped to navigate the evolving landscape of higher education and address the intricate challenges posed by the contemporary and the future employment landscape.

During the event, prof. Vitor Gonsalves on behalf of IPB team (partner of IM-PRO-IN-DE project) presented the project, its concept and expected results.

Transnational dissemination of the project during INVEST Conference at University of Reims Champagne Ardenne – 23 January 2024, Reims, France

The IM-PRO-IN-DE project concept was presented during INVEST conference as part of the INVEST European University Alliance at University of Reims Champagne Ardenne. The event was held on 23 January 2024, at the Aula of the university in Reims, France.

The CEO of the Bulgarian Inclusion Support Team (project conceptor and partner) Mr. Andrean Lazarov was welcomed by the Rector of the University, who is also the Chairman of the University of France – the union of universities in France Prof. Guillaume Gelle.

The head of the “Higher Education” section of the General Directorate “Education, Youth, Sports and Culture” of the EC Mrs. Vanessa Debiais-Sainton addressed the participants via video and congratulated them. She emphasized the great importance of this initiative by presenting the main lines of work.

Annual Valorisation Conference “Active citizenship in Europe” of the Bulgarian Erasmus+ National Agency – 05.12.2023 – Sofia, Bulgaria

In its role as the National Agency for the European Programs “Erasmus+” and “European Solidarity Corps”, the Human Resources Development Centre organise the Annual Valorisation Conference 2023 on the topic “Active Citizenship in Europe”. Special guests at the event were Acad. Prof. Nikolay Denkov (Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria), Prof. PhD Galin Tsokov (Minister of Education and Science) and Dr. Vanya Kastreva (Head of Regional Educational Directorate – Sofia).

During this year’s conference, five discussion panels were held, during which the reflection of European values and priorities in the two programs was discussed. Special attention was paid to the topic of inclusion of people with fewer opportunities and special needs and how they are included in the projects, and in this regard, the chair of the panel was our Chief Executive Officer Mrs. Andrean Lazarov, who is also an accredited National consultant in the vocational education and training area. In his summary, he highlighted the exceptional role of the Erasmus+ program in the formation of soft skills, a sense of belonging and the professional and social inclusion of this target group and presented as best practice current initiatives, which are managed with the participation by the Bulgarian Inclusion Support Team.

Presentation of the project during annual conference of the Ministry of education and science – Plovdiv, Bulgaria, 27.11.2023

The project concept was presented by the project coordinator prof. DSc. Dora Levterova-Gadjalova from Plovdiv University “Paisii Hilendarski” and by Dr. Yanka Takeva from Bulgarian Teachers’ Union during the pannel on Social and emotional learning and its role in further teachers’ qualification.

More than 300 teachers from different regions in Bulgaria expressed huge interest to join the projects’ Community of practice.

Presentation of the project during VII Jornadas da Prática Pedagógica – 23.11.2023 (online)

Prof. PhD Pilar Gutiez Cuevas, President of ASOCIACIÓN MADRILEÑA DE PROFESIONALES DE LA ATENCIÓN TEMPRANA, Spain (project partner) presented the project concept and expected results during VII Jornadas da Prática Pedagógica – an online event organised by the INSTITUTO POLITECNICO DE BRAGANCA, Portugal (project partner). The journal constitute an opportunity for broad reflection on pedagogy(ies) and intervention projects that have been developed by educators/teachers and researchers, putting perspectives and perspectives on educational praxis into debate. More than 240 students and teachers from the Escola Superior de Educação de Bragança, early childhood educators, primary and secondary school teachers and members of the community were interested in the topic.

Successful kick off meeting of the IM-PRO-IN-DE project in Plovdiv, Bulgaria

“Improvement of digitalisation competences of recent and future teachers by development of advanced training on instructional design of digital training” project started successfully in the beginning of November 2023. It is coordinated by the reknowened project coordinator prof. Dsc Dora Levterova-Gadjalova – Head of Further Teachers’ Qualification Department of University of Plovdiv “Paisii Hilendarski” – Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

The project is in the Higher education field and will last 30 months. The partnership included UNIVERSIDAD NACIONAL DE EDUCACION A DISTANCIA (UNED), Madrid, Spain, ASOCIACIÓN MADRILEÑA DE PROFESIONALES DE LA ATENCIÓN TEMPRANA, Madrid, Spain (AMPAT), BULGARIAN INCLUSION SUPPORT TEAM (BIST), Sofia, Bulgaria, WINSS: World Innovative Sustainable Solutions, Istanbul, Turkiye, EYUPSULTAN ILCE MILLI EGITIM MUDURLUGU, Istanbul, Turkiye, INSTITUTO POLITÉCNICO DE BRAGANÇA, Bragança, Portugal and the BULGARIAN TEACHERS’ UNION, Sofia, Bulgaria.

The main result of the project will be Curriculum and training course about Instructional design of digital learning by applying the Universal design of learning principles for existing teachers and those, that are studying to become techers to enable full inclusion of students with special needs in Bulgaria, Spain, Portugal and Turkiye.