Looking Forward My Future – School Makes Sense Programme

Period: January 2016 – December 2019
Looking Forward My Future – School Makes Sense Programme
Period: January 2016 – December 2019
Funding organization: THE VELUX FOUNDATIONS, Denmark
Programme Context: 
Around 12% of Bulgarian students drop out of school as early as at 9-12 years. Among the main reasons are poverty, learning difficulties, disabilities and disillusionment. The motivation of children to pursue further education and career is low, because the connection between studying and working is unclear. Often they neither see the connection between school and professional realization nor how the school will ensure them a better life. Both educators and children perceive education as an end in itself, rather than a means toward achieving professional and personal development, thus devaluing its importance and making it appear useless.
This problem is more acute in poor communities and families where the low horizons and lack of perspective and good examples, dooming many children to become school dropouts as early as 6-7 grade. The consequences are antisocial behavior, unemployment and poverty.
Professional orientation is rarely offered to students in Bulgaria and more rarely to younger ones. Governmental programmes deal with the issue post-factum, aimed at young people who are in high school or have already dropped out.

What we do – we are developing and applying methodology and tool to keep children in school by increasing their motivation for learning and by giving practical value of lessons learned in class. We are working with two partner schools Hristo Smirnenski Secondary School, Brezovo and Georgi Benkovski Secondary School, Teteven

How – by engaging the wider community – parents, teachers, educational institutions, local professionals and big enterprises and institutions to take responsibility to create a bridge between the school and children’s professional life.

Why - in the field of education, inclusion involves the creation of links between schools and surrounding communities. Many professionals are ready to invest children's motivation to continue their education and to support the building of active and vibrant local community.

And often we are told “No one prevents us to make changes on local level” that is why with the accumulated terrain knowledge and working practices, we will create a platform which helps schools and local entrepreneurs and professionals to unite efforts to motivate children to succeed.

Results after the first year of field work
  • 70% of children declare that the school has become more interesting to them as a result of the work within the Programme.
  • 27%  of children have changed their dreams as a result of the Programme.
  • 50% of children have increased their knowledge in subjects, related to the participation in the Programme.
  • With 69% has increased the willingness of professionals to spend their own funds to continue the Programme as a result of their one-year work with children.
  • The class absences have decreased by 20% compared to the absences for the last year for the same period.
  • The number of parents, considering that their child should create a life plan has increased by 20%.
  • The number of parents who are looking for direct contact with the school has increased by 9%.
  • The number of teachers who are looking for direct contact with parents has increased by 13,5%.

Programme’s Intermediate Evaluation by Organization’s External Expert
  • The Programme reinforces the potential of school to attract local communities for joint activities; teachers to extend their pedagogical skills and to show leadership skills; parents to become more open and to participate more actively in the studying of their children; children to follow their dreams and to make conscious and informed choices.
  • The Programme develops attitudes and skills for civic behaviour in school environment.
  • The Programme directs its participants to overcome challenges, attitudes and  behaviours, leading to standstill in each of the groups. It challenges inertia, passivity, closeness, indifference, conformism and fear.
  • Up to date the Programme has shown results which make it suitable for development on larger scale. Final data and their analyze will show concrete steps for its future development.

The Future – as organization which is devoted to children’s education and by seeing Programme’s positive effect, we are starting to increase the number of schools. To achieve this objective, we need dedicated partners who believe in the long-term effect and meaning of our work for the children and thus for the community as a whole.

School Makes Sense

School Makes Sense is our most ambitious cause. We are aiming at 100 schools to join it in 2025, because this is a cause which makes the school to revive again in children hearts and to become special for them.

School Makes Sense creates a bridge which connects the school, the local community and the supportive business environment. By crossing it every day, children integrate knowledge, inspiration and challenges and find their place and contribution to the world.

School Makes Sense motivates children to find themselves, to dream about where they want to be, and we, the people around them – teachers, professionals, mentors and parents to help them to trace their path to achieve their dreams.