The education is power. It gives you many opportunities in your life and opens doors for you every day. The non-formal education does the same - it gives chances to everybody to study no matter how old you are, where you come from and where you want to be.
There are countries around the world where educational system is not developed enough to provide quality education for everybody. A lot of people are illiterate, and this creates difficulties for them. For sad, many children dream of going to school like normal kids. In such situations the non-formal education takes actions. Non-formal means that you don’t need a classroom with desks and chairs, whiteboard and a teacher in front to learn something new. In non-formal education you can learn from every member of the group, practice in real situations, learning by doing. It is community related, flexible, learner-centered, resource saving, lifelong. Non-formal education not only helps to “fill the gap” in formal education system, but teach you lessons that you can’t learn at school.
That’s way I decided to study “Non-formal education” and to work in the field of education. I believe that everyone deserves to be educated, to learn throughout his whole life so you can change the world around and make it better.
Non-formal education as university degree
Since the academic year 2008/2009 in the Faculty of Education in Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” a new B.A. program in Non-formal Education is opening. Sofia University is the only university in Bulgaria and one of the few in Europe to offer this degree to the students.
It is aimed to prepare higher educated personnel for the needs of the intensive developing extra curriculum and alternative educational services for children and adults, offered by specialized public, private and non-profit organizations outside the formal educational system. During their study students obtain general humanitarian, social and organizational competences, fundamental, specialized and practice-oriented trainings for educational work with children, youths and adults in non-formal, alternative educational field; complex preparation for working in a wide number of educational institutions for extra curriculum and continuing education, free time studies, consultation and mediation in searching and choosing educational services.
After mastering the basic skills and knowledge students, in accordance with their interests and professional plans, can determinate their own professional profile by choosing among following modules and sub-modules:
Consultation and mediation in the field of non-formal education;
Organization of educational services and activities;
European educational network;
Educational activities in the community.
Depending of their professional specialization graduate students acquire qualification respectively as lecturer, consultant and mediator in the area of non-formal education, or lecturer and administrator of educational services and activities. They can work as educational services administrators in public, private and non-government organization, experts in European educational institutions and networks for non-formal education, as self-employed consultants of vocational and educational orientation and career development, as adult education specialists, experts in the centers for continuing vocational training and qualification of educational staff etc.
As students we have the opportunities to participate in different projects, to collaborate with other universities and to share ideas with students from around the globe. We can participate in Erasmus+ mobility program for students where we can go to study abroad for one academic year and then to go back to your university.
Lastly I want to quote Nelson Mandela who says: Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world. So does the non-formal education.
by Iliyana Zaharieva
YE Save our money in Mezobereny, Hungary