Following the success of our first project with open lessons, we managed to secure funding for another nearly three year-long cycle. This time we are testing the civic education syllabus which the Ministry of Education plans to implement from 2020. Our experts are developing the teaching methodology and we will get to test it in high-schools March-May and Oct-December this year with 11th and 12th graders. We have also designed an evaluation methodology to monitor the children’s knowledge and skills before and after.

Planned activities

- 30 Cycles of 2 Civic Education Lectures in High Schools (60 lectures)
- 20 Training modules for teachers (reaching 225 teachers)
- 2 Summer Schools for University Students (reaching 60 students)
- 25 Town Hall Meetings (reaching 1000 citizens)
- International Conference marking the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the communist regime in Bulgaria

30 Cycles of 2 Civic Education Lectures in High Schools (60 lectures)

Following a competition, nine motivated teachers successfully joined the pilot part of the project "Civil Education in Action", which aims to test the syllabus for civic education for 11th and 12th grade, developed by the Ministry of Education. Participation consists in teaching two modules of six hours in the first term of 11th and the second term of 12th grade, in the spring (March-May) and the autumn (October-December) in 2018. The module content and methods were developed with the help of experts, one of whom is also available to every teacher and will visit the class as a guest lecturer.

20 Training modules for teachers (reaching 225 teachers)

We plan to organize 20 teacher trainings for teachers of history, philosophy and civic education with historians and educators in the field of communism, democracy and civic rights (continuing the good practices we developed during the previous projects supported by America for Bulgaria). This time, Sofia Platform will certify itself as an organization offering life-long learning trainings for teachers, pending approval from the Ministry of Education.

2 Summer Schools for University Students (reaching 60 students)

We plan to organize two four-day long summer schools for university students in the summer of 2018 and 2019 (reaching approx. 30 students). The first one will evolve around the Bulgarian presidency of the Council of the EU and the significance of remembrance for preserving democratic values in the country. The second one will be organized around the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of communism and will also focus on remembrance, dealing with the past and what this means for the present and future of democracy. Both summer schools will take place in Belene, subject to confirmation. Activities will include lectures from experts from the NGO, public and business sector, field trip to the site of the former concentration camp in Belene, volunteer work for the Belene municipality. The main goal of the summer school will be for the students to develop (in groups) a project proposal for implementing a small civic project in their local communities which will be funded by Sofia Platform.

25 Town Hall Meetings (reaching 1000 citizens)

- 2017 under the label “What do we gain from democracy?
- 2018 under the label “Why the EU matters to me?”
We plan to organize a series of public discussions where we invite young, successful individuals to go back to their hometowns and take part in a discussion with local audience about how democracy has given them the chance to pursue their dreams in a way communism could have never allowed. This is an attempt to start bridging the divide between the centre (capital) and periphery (country side), as well as to use personal stories to illustrate rather abstract concepts like democracy, the EU and rights and freedoms. The personal stories of local citizens, returning to their hometowns will serve as a starting point for a discussion with one expert as a way to make facts about the communist past and nature of democracy relatable and understandable. As the topic of communism is largely neglected, engaging people in a conversation is an ideal tool to make them critically reflect on their past and the lessons we should learn from it.

International Conference marking the 30th anniversary of the fall of the communist regime in Bulgaria

We will use the anniversary to take a snapshot at the activities undertaken to strengthen democracy and critically reflect on the communist past for the past 30 years. The event will take place in Sofia in November 2019 and will be organized in cooperation with a large coalition of other Bulgarian and international organizations.

Date: 09.03.2018
Town: Montana
School: PGTE "Christo Botev"
Teacher: Sonya Mladenova
Expert: Ralitza Kirilova
Topic: "Freedom, citizens and power"

Date: 12.03.2018
Town: Zlatitsa
School: SU "Paisiy Hilendarski"
Teacher: Donka Slavcheva
Expert: Bistra Stoimenova
Topic: "The emergence and development of identities"

Date: 12.03.2018
Town: Vidin
School: GPCHE "Jordan Radichkov"
Teacher: Valya Aleksandrova
Expert: Mariana Asenova
Topic: "Student and school in the democratic citizenship"

Date: 15.03.2018
Town: Peshtera
School: PGHT "Atanas Chengelev"
Teacher: Mariya Vachkova
Expert: Maya Grekova
Topic: "Minorities and the civil society"

Date: 19.03.2018
Town: Teteven
School: PGGSD "Sava Mladenov"
Teacher: Tsonka Dushkova
Expert: Hristo Panchugov
Topic: "Politics, democracy and the rule of law"

Date: 23.03.2018
Town: Straldzha
School: SU "P. K. Yavorov"
Teacher: Galya Rainova
Expert: Hristo Panchugov
Topic: "The idea of justice - civil rights and responsibilities"

Date: 23.03.2018
Town: Varna
School: 3. PMG "Acad. Metodiy Popov"
Teacher: Diana Markova
Expert: Momchil Metodiev
Topic: "Civil society and civic participation  - Me and my position as a citizen"