Project “YOUth Ambassadors of Non-Formal Learning”
Interviewer: Rosalia Kasamska
Interviewee: Dilyana Kutsarova
Date and location: May 27, 2020 – online
List of questions for the Interview:
- Is the law defining NFE in your country? If yes, please describe what the law says.
The interviewee pointed out that there are some frameworks and basic definition of NFE in Bulgaria, but it is not consistent. We have different laws that somehow hint for NFE, e.g. the law regulating preschool and school education, the law for NGOs, as well as the ordinance on the terms and conditions for validation of professional knowledge, skills and competencies. However, it is not easy to put the puzzle together what NFE is and why it is important not only for young people, but also for adults, taking into consideration lifelong learning and constant personal and professional growth.
- Please describe the existing strategies, action plans that define nonformal learning in your country?
The interviewee shared that according to her observations most of those strategies comes from the EU and they are not so well integrated in the national legislation and strategies. Basically, we do not have any recognised strategy dedicated specifically to NFE, but some of its aspects are covered by the National Strategy for Lifelong Learning 2014-2020.
- Have you been involved in the development of a strategy / action plan / law in excess of the NFE issues?
The interviewee is more a practitioner who works with young people and participated in structured dialogue initiatives. However, not particularly on development of strategy or action plan in cooperation with policymakers.
- Do you work on promoting NFE and how?
She has participated in several non-formal trainings either as trainer or mentor. In most of them, she leads a session dedicated to recognition of the skills and competences gained during the specific training. She provides instructions how the provided certificates or Youthpasses can be used, why they are significant, how to be prepared, so they have the most value. The interviewee shared that the best way for promoting NFE is through practice – this applies for youth workers. However, the government should also have they role, supporting and popularising the importance of NFE.
- For your institution/CSO how young people recognize NFE?
The interviewee said that at first most young people are not familiar with the recognition of NFE, they do not even know what the term means and why it can be important for them. They definitely need more knowledge in the area. However, once explained, they start to value non-formal training opportunities and even look for them intentionally and independently.
- What are you doing about NFE in term to make closeness with youth?
The interviewee shared she is trying to show the value of NFE personally for the young person – how NFE can be useful for them, what individual steps are needed to gain specific knowledge and skills, how they can be represented and recognised in a proper way – e.g. to potential employer or investor (this depends, however, on the specific case).
- Have you involved young people in the process of bringing about things that are relevant to non-formal education?
Yes, already explained in previous answers.
- Should the Government get involved and make an even bigger contribution when it we are speaking about youth and policies about youth?
Definitely – by creating more strategies and practical guidelines how NFE can be better popularised among young people and adult learners; by funding support for organisations that work in the area of NFE; by information campaigns about recognition to different audiences – youth, adult learning organisations, business organisations and employers, CSO.