The multicultural teacher is a multicultural person – with this message of Sonya Nieto, one of the most important researchers-advocates of multicultural education, Boyan Zahariev, program director at the Open Society Institute – Sofia and head of the Project Generation Facility, opened on 5 March in Sofia training for representatives of civil society organizations developing projects under the scheme “Increasing the capacity of pedagogical specialists to work in a multicultural environment” of the Operational program Science and Education for Smart Growth.
The Project generation facility is implemented within the Active Citizens Fund under the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area 2014-2021 as an initiative of the Open Society Institute – Sofia to support civil society organizations working for equal inclusion of the Roma, aimed at developing integration projects and searching funds for their implementation from different funding instruments.
Project generation facility has already provided consultations to five non-governmental organizations working in the field of full integration of Roma in Bulgarian society to submit project proposals under the call for applications for teachers’ work in a multicultural environment.
In the seminar dedicated to the preparation of project proposals under the scheme by civil society organizations and their partners, participants from Varna, Sofia, Razgrad, Rakitovo, Hayredin, Haskovo and Veliko Tarnovo discussed key activities in future projects. The discussions focused on the project ideas for studying the needs of school teams for knowledge and skills to work in a multicultural environment and the implementation of procedures for selection of contractors for training activities. Many issues related to ensuring the quality of trainings and planned documents at school level, the involvement of educational mediators in project activities and the identification of partners were addressed.
The participants in the forum agreed on the understanding that the training of pedagogical specialists on how to work and achieve optimal results in a multicultural educational environment needs to include both in-depth knowledge of theories of intercultural interactions and modules for developing skills for solving practical problems of the educational integration in schools and kindergartens.
Representatives of non-governmental organizations noted as significant barriers to applying for the scheme of more civil society organizations: the high minimum threshold of the budget under the procedure and the limited opportunities to provide own funds after exhaustion of the advance tranche of the program.
Representatives of non-governmental organizations noted the following significant barriers to applying for the scheme of more civil society organizations: the high minimum budget threshold under the procedure and the limited possibilities for securing own funds after the advance tranche of the program is exhausted.In multicultural education it is important to achieve an understanding of different cultures as equally valuable – with this shared cause and satisfaction with the exchanged good practices and ideas for its implementation, NGO representatives parted ways at the end of the forum and continue preparing their project proposals and fulfilment of their mission in the local communities.