Regional Committee – PERNIK
The Regional committee for early childhood education (ECE) of the Bulgarian National Committee (BNC) – OMEP, Pernik, was established on 27.01.2000. It was the first out of 15 Regional committees in Bulgaria to be registered and on 07. 06. 2000 it received the status of a legitimate representative of the non-profit organization BNC for ECE, OMEP, that is the Bulgarian branch of the World organization for early childhood education – /Organisation Mondiale pour l’Edication Prescolaire/.
Initially, despite the numerous joint activities and initiatives /questionnaires, trainings, exhibitions/ of the Regional organization with the Children’s protection society and other non-profit organizations in the town, there was no collective membership. The members of the Regional committee are 16 enthusiastic highly qualified specialists with higher education and creative and scientific interests in the field of early childhood education /publications, participation in scientific conferences with practical aspects, constant strife for career development etc./. They are practicing teachers, directors, experts and specialists in the field of early childhood education. The first chairperson of the Regional structure in the town is Ph.D. Antoanina Nikolova Cherneva, a teacher in Kindergarten 11 „Zname na mira” (Peace flag) – Pernik where the headquarters of the Regional Committee are located. Initially a member of the Administrative board of BNC – OMEP, Sofia and coordinator for the region of Pernik is Galina Koleva Toneva, director of Kindergarten 4 “Chuden sviat” (Magical world) – Pernik.
The Regional committee in Pernik relies on own financial resources from membership fees. It is often difficult for its representatives to take part in national conferences and forums as they often have to cover their own travelling expenses. On the other hand the atmosphere in the regional committee is one of creative spirit and the members, apart from being colleagues, are also friends who know how to work as a team. What unites them is the main goal of OMEP: to defend and promote the rights of the child with special emphasis on the right to education and care worldwide. However, voluntary participation and creative enthusiasm are not enough when financial resources are lacking. As a result, the activities of the Regional structure had to be suspended for a certain period.
Bulgaria’s entry into the EU defined new perspectives and requirements for those working in the field of early childhood education. The interactive methods and project work in the management of the kindergartens are now essential. Projects and staff training are some of the most important means of getting funds for the Bulgarian education that has endured a lot.
The fact that there are delegated budgets for schools is a sign that they will be available for the kindergartens too. That is why in 2008 the first founders of the Regional committee of the BNC – OMEP – Pernik, with the support of the senior expert – Yulia Radenkova restored the activity of the Regional committee. The following individual members entered the Administrative board of the regional organization:
Doctor Antoanina Cherneva – chairperson of the Regional Committee,
Maya Ilieva – member of the management team,
Nina Krumova – secretary,
Angelina Ognyanova – member of the management team,
Sonya Zaprova – treasurer,
Darinka Evtimova – member of the management team,
Silvia Asenova, Galina Koleva and the senior expert in early childhood education – Yiulia Radenkova.
The membership in the Regional organization is increasing and the total number of the members is currently 81.
From 2000 to 2016 due to different reasons /mainly financial/ kindergartens alternately used to join and leave the organization. In 2009 “Zname na mira” kindergarten became a collective member of OMEP – Pernik. At that time, all kindergartens in Pernik had a collective membership in the Regional structure of OMEP in the city.
The regional Committee of the BNC – OMEP takes an active part in all initiatives of BNC – OMEP – Sofia / conferences, projects, forums/ but also has its own image due to its creative, responsible and independently minded people, followers and friends. Since its establishing until now the RC of the BNC – OMEP can be defined as an organization with constant strife for career development and self-actualization, creativity, team work and enthusiasm.
As an organization we are very proud of our achievements:
2000-2001 – promotion and raising awareness about the activities of the Regional Committee of BNC-OMEP- Pernik through the regional television “Krakra” and the local newspapers. Joint work with the Children’s protection society and other organizations; trainings for adapting the Convention for the rights of the children to the realities of the kindergarten, exhibitions, traditional games and others.
2008 – restoring of the suspended activities of the RC of BNC – OMEP; participation in the National Conference of BNC – OMEP, Sofia with six papers on the topic “Ecology, culture, education: the realities of education – protection of the future” – 06.06.2008; November 2008 – in Kindergarten 12 “Radost” (Joy) there was a workshop on the topic: “Cognitive development of the children through games” with a chairperson L. Grigorova. Visiting guests were not only members and friends of OMEP – Pernik but also a part of the editorial team of “Early childhood education” magazine, doctor V. Giurova, A. Naumova and E. Stoeva with whom the teachers from Pernik have had a long cooperation.
12.12.2007 – in Kindergarten “Brezitsa” in the town of Breznik the idea of international cooperation between the local non-govenmental organization RC of the BNC OMEP, Pernik and the German organization “Senior Experten Servis” (the organization supports the development of the small and middle firms in Germany and abroad) was put into practice. The expert of the German organization presented the specifics of the German early childhood education to the experts and guests.
2009 BNC – OMEP, Sofia awarded the Regional Committee of Pernik with a charter for active participation in the National Forum entitled “Creativity and innovations: the creativity of the teacher for the creativity of the children” that took place on 4 and 5 May 2009. In June 2009 a two days regional conference entitled: “Early childhood education in Pernik – yesterday, today and tomorrow” was one of the initiatives of the Municipality for the 80 anniversary of Pernik being a city. All 14 kindergartens in the town took part with presentations and films. There were more than 100 participants and guests from the Municipality and the Regional inspectorate. The event was announced in the local media and was rated high both from the school authorities in Pernik and the guests from OMEP – Sofia – professor E. Rusinova /chairperson/, professor V. Borisova /secretary/ and doctor R. Engels a member of the Administrative board.
7 November 2012 – a regional forum “The early childhood education in Pernik and the region – history, trends and perspectives”, was held. It was dedicated to the 130 anniversary since the establishment of the first preschool institution in Bulgaria and was organized at the initiative of Kindergarten 11 “Zname na mira” with the support of the Regional Inspectorate of the Ministry of Education and the cooperation of the Municipality of Pernik. Ph.D. A. Cherneva presented the introductory report.
2013-2016 – active participations of members of OMEP in all forums and projects of the BNC – OMEP – Sofia / projects about the game and the European educational project “Water Ecoculture” on the topic “Water magic” in which Kindergarten 11 took part (it was one of the six kindergartens from Bulgaria where this project was introduced). Kindergarten 11 “Zname na mira” Pernik was highly evaluated by BNC – OMEP, Sofia. It also received an invitation for presenting of the project at a conference in Greece but did not take part due to financial reasons.
The European educational project „Water Ecoculture“
KUKERI Festival in Pernik’s kindergarten
(Kukeri are elaborately costumed Bulgarian men who perform traditional rituals intended to scare away evil spirits)
Surva 2016 in the kindergarten (Surva is a traditional winter Bulgarian custom)