I believe that society as a whole wants to do everything possible to permanently establish in-person learning. Its great importance and role for the educational environment is clear, he said.
And are gas supplies for all schools ensured? The minister said that an analysis was made and information was collected about which schools are heated with what fuel. A further analysis of the whole system of the school network is forthcoming to see, in view of the whole economic situation, what the necessary measures will be.
But he is adamant that the preliminary talk is hypothetical and real situations must be reached in order to assess what are the possibilities of covering the needs with funds within the framework of the law.
“In specific cases in the future, when the budgets are drawn up, it will be assessed what specific measures will be taken in this direction. It depends on the specific situation which activity will be chosen. I hope that the situation will be such that there will be no need for absenteeism training because of measures related to the cost of energy carriers,” said Minister Penov.
He assured that the school year will start in the flooded villages in Karlovsko as well.
Regarding the measures in schools, he said that it is a question of activities that are aimed more at prevention.
“To observe hygiene, to open the windows, to keep a distance – I don’t think that these are strict measures that will hinder the learning process. The announced activities are rather aimed at avoiding the cases of reaching there even if one class closed,” he said.
However, he stated that we can derive many benefits from learning in an electronic environment.
“At the moment, electronic systems are being developed that support learning. We need to find that balance in which face-to-face learning is the leading one, and electronic forms of learning are used to upgrade knowledge, check knowledge. I see the future precisely in a combination of the two forms in order to both respond to modern conditions and develop the socialization of learning,” he said.
The Minister also stated that weeks ago a new platform “Digital Backpack” was demonstrated at the Ministry of Education and Culture, which gives free access to learning materials and in which teachers can present different lessons. It gives the possibility to control the knowledge of the students, and for the parents to track the knowledge of their children.
The MES together with the Ministry of Health have also developed a pilot project – telemedicine, which makes it possible to remotely assess the condition of a given student or teacher.
The system establishes a connection between the health office and the stations in the respective hospitals, where there is a doctor who, based on what he saw and explained, can assess the condition of the student or teacher who was injured. This will give an opportunity for peace in schools where there is no medical staff, the minister said.
Regarding the breakdown in the National Electronic Information System, he said that it was an overload that could happen in all electronic environments. Like any system, it is subject to upgrading and temporary difficulties should not bother teachers and parents, added Penov.
Regarding the frozen procedure for the competitions for directors, he said that after the decision of the Supreme Court, it will be possible to assess again together with the social partners the content of the regulation and compliance with the law, and only then will the competitions be held.
The official Minister of Education also informed that a procedure is currently underway to discuss the necessary changes in the educational content.
“We are at a very early stage, where the opinions of the interested party, of the specialists are expected, publication for consultations, and after the final result, it will be assessed which changes are appropriate. As for the forms of the matriculation exams and the national external assessment, they remain the same, as well as the curricula,” said the minister.