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Step By Step Program Foundation/Bulgaria

Photograph of four childrenStep by Step Program Foundation/Bulgaria is a non-governmental organization working in the field of the Bulgarian education since 1994.

Vision

Quality education for the XXI century.

Mission

As an educational model, the Step by Step Program - Bulgaria spreads ideas concerning the implementation of the following activities through using democratic principles for education:

  • Offering educational technologies and strategies connected with interactive teaching methods and organization of the school environment;
  • Monitoring, evaluation and research of educational projects;
  • Developing specific projects in the field of permanent education as well as training and re-training teachers.

Connected to this, the Step by Step Program Foundation conducts the following projects:

  • Infant and Toddler Groups Project
  • Preschool Project
  • Primary School Project
  • Higher Education Project
  • Children with Special Educational Needs Project
  • Boards of School Trustees Project
  • Municipality - Model Site Project
  • Special Schools Project

In order for the Foundation to successfully fulfill its mission, the Step by Step Program works in cooperation with governmental institutions and non-governmental organizations from Bulgaria and abroad. Some of the Foundation's partners are: Ministry of Education and Science, Open Society Foundation - Sofia, Open Society Institute - New York, Bulgarian National Committee for UNICEF, PHARE Program, Socrates National Agency, Catholic Relief Services.

The Step by Step network in Bulgaria includes 57 kindergartens, 32 mainstream schools, 3 helping schools and 5 pedagogical faculties evenly distributed all over the country.

The Step by Step Program was approved by the Ministry of Education and Science: - for Preschool - act #92-00-185/15.05.1995
- for Primary school - act #92-00-48/28.03.1997
- for Helping school - act #06329/21.07.1999 and act #20655/28.12.2000

Qualification Activity of Step by Step Program Foundation

Connected to the Foundation's main activities, a project for qualification has been developed and the basic thematic units for training are specified in it. These modules include:

1) for principals - Philosophy and main components of Step by Step Program, team work, assessing the quality of the school work, self-support, family involvement;

2) for teachers - Philosophy and main components of Step by Step Program, interactive teaching methods, thematic teaching, new educational technologies, organizing a child-centered school environment, individualization, observing and assessing children's development, anti-bias, integrating children with special educational needs and minority children;

3) for parents - Philosophy and main components of Step by Step Program, communication, parent involvement, creating effective boards of school trustees and advocacy.

Since we began our work, 25 faculty teachers, 440 student teachers, 92 principals, 1500 teachers, 45 nurses and 100 parents from the Step by Step network have been trained on the specific training modules. According to the Agreement between the Ministry of Education and the Foundation (#599/18.11.1998) more than 1000 preschool and primary teachers and principals interested in the Step by Step methodology have participated in training workshops. The preschool and primary experts from the regional inspectorates of the Ministry of Education have been trained as well. Connected to this, 19 preschool sites and 7 primary sites have been equipped and now are functioning as training model sites where conditions for training conducted by 25 Step by Step trainers have been ensured.