As a member of the National Coordination Group for Lifelong Learning in Bulgaria Dr. Petya Ilieva-Trichkova was invited to take part in the Sixth National Days of Lifelong Learning which were hold between 7th and 9th September in Gabrovo, Bulgaria. The tradition is that the National Days of Lifelong Learning are organized every year in different city of the country, so that the lifelong learning can be promoted among the widest circles of the population.

The event was organized by the Ministry of Education and Science with the financial support of the Erasmus+ Program of the European Union, in partnership with the Regional Administration of Gabrovo, Regional Department of Education – Gabrovo and with the active assistance of the Municipality of Gabrovo. It was attended by more than 100 key stakeholders such as experts, practitioners, directors of professional gymnasiums and social partners and guests.

The event was opened by Ms. Tanya Mihailova, Deputy Minister of Education and Science. In her speech, she emphasized the growing importance of lifelong learning as a factor for successful professional and social realization in the conditions of a dynamic labor market and serious social changes. During the opening, the annual awards for contribution to the development of the adult learning sector were presented. The Grand Prize for overall contribution “Golden Key” was awarded to the President of the Union of Bulgarian Teachers – Yanka Takeva.

The programme of the event also included workshops for the exchange of good practices, an exhibition of adult formal and non-formal education and training institutions, a variety of other workshops and a school day. There was a special session with presentations of successful practices and tools for lifelong learning – Electronic platform for adult learning in Europe (EPALE), the goals, the target groups and the activities related with the Project for support of the dual system of education in Bulgaria, and Project for tracking of the realization of graduates of vocational education and training.

The general message of the National Days of Lifelong Learning was that systematic and focused efforts are needed, both by policy makers and stakeholders, and by educational institutions and each individual, so that lifelong learning can become a part of everyone’s life and to overcome social inequalities in access to various forms of continuing education.