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The positive reading of the PISA results

How does "Sindeo" analyze the PISA results in the context of Bulgarian education?

In recent months, the media emphasized the fact that Bulgarian students are the most illiterate of all children in the world. As long-time educators, we cannot agree with all the statements on the subject, so we have systematized and analyzed the PISA results obtained in surveys from 2018 and 2022. PISA is a program for the international standardized assessment of functional literacy among 15-year-old students. The research measures knowledge of specific subjects and how prepared students are to cope with life in modern society. Since 2000, PISA has conducted tests in three main areas - mathematical, reading and scientific literacy of students. We at "Sindeo" believe that we should not accept the results as black statistics, but as a valuable source of information about the state of Bulgarian education.

We made a detailed sample of all tested 15-year-olds around the world and in our country in the three directions and analyzed the results of the Bulgarian girls in 2018 and 2022. In the foreground comes the conclusion that our students did better than their peers in France, Poland, Germany, Switzerland in 2022, compared to the results of 2018.

How does your academy adapt its training to PISA findings?

In 2022, PISA focuses on the mathematical knowledge and skills of 15-year-olds around the world and in our country, with reading and scientific literacy being represented in the exam along with other competencies necessary for the modern world. After analyzing the content, we start to create topics close to the global concept of PISA. We are looking for experts, we organize seminars and courses for the Bulgarian teacher, which are of different duration, but with a constant connection between lecturer and participants, with a lot of practice and an exam part.

What are the main challenges you identified in Bulgarian education after PISA?

Not all students aged 15 are tested, but specific schools in the country. This is an additional challenge because students from the big city and those from the smallest settlements could produce very different results on the same learning content.

What specific steps is Sindeo taking to improve the quality of education?

The "Sindeo" team strives to engage the Bulgarian teacher, increasing his professional qualification on socially significant topics. Every week on the Sindeo YouTube channel, completely free seminars are held with various experts in the fields of education, ecology, medicine, entrepreneurship and business.

Is it possible that PISA results serve as a basis for reforms in Bulgarian schools?

Not only can, but we must interpret the results of PISA as an opportunity for the development of educational policies in the country and their adequate implementation in schools. Many European countries have built and implemented their educational models, which today elevate their economies to one of the top places in Europe. We can be inspired by their example or even borrow already working educational models to adapt and integrate in Bulgaria.

What is the role of teachers and how does Sindeo prepare them to meet modern educational challenges?

The role of teachers is fundamental. We believe that it is the teacher who must translate education into the child's language so that the information sounds relevant to the modern world. "Sindeo" always stands behind the Bulgarian teacher to support and inspire him, providing him with a number of opportunities for self-improvement.

Can you give examples of successful practices from other countries that can be applied in Bulgaria?

Foreign educational models and practices are not, and should not be, fully applicable in our country, not least because we are talking about different cultures and geographical locations and we should preserve our identity. But some of the working educational practices are those of some Northern European countries, such as Finland, Norway or the Baltic Lithuania.

What are Sindeo's future plans for improving the educational process in Bulgaria?

In "Sindeo" something very interesting is coming in the fall of 2024 and that is the creation of the complete academy for people who want to be teachers, for those who want to retrain or experts who want to transfer their knowledge and skills from the specific field of the Bulgarian students.


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