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.