The conference on “Digital skills for the future” was organized by the “Partners – Bulgaria” foundation on 4-12-2023 in Samokov. During the conference, educational materials and tools were presented, the experience of teachers was shared regarding the teaching of an innovative program for digital competences in school.

The curriculum was designed to introduce students to the concepts of artificial intelligence and its applications, ethical issues and responsible use. The program of the conference included students who took part in school studies and performed interesting creative projects. A final report was presented describing the methodology and achievements of the Digital Skills for the Future project, which aimed to improve the digital skills of young people from disadvantaged areas due to socio-economic reasons, distance from major cities or others.

The project promotes a critical and responsible use of digital technologies that allow us to be part of a technologically driven world where digitization affects our lives, interactions, learning and work. The project lasted for 3 years: from January 15, 2021 to January 14, 2024. The activities with teachers and students were realized during the two school years (2021-2022 and 2022-2023). Beneficiaries of the project are children aged 11-14, attending schools and youth centers in disadvantaged areas in Bulgaria, Italy, Greece and Romania.

The project protects children’s rights to learn and develop skills and competencies, to nurture their desires and talents. Digital competences as a basis for the future realization of young people and the lack of training in this direction negatively affects children’s development and the opportunity to prepare for a different future. A future in which artificial intelligence will permeate all areas of the labor market, both among jobs that require lower qualifications and among jobs that require highly skilled specialists. In such a scenario, boys and girls who fail to develop the necessary level of digital skills are at high risk of being further marginalized in adulthood. In Bulgaria, the project was implemented in 4 schools in the city of Samokov during the academic years 2021-2022 and 2022-2023. The report describes the project’s methodology, pedagogical tools, evaluation of results and recommendations for improving digital and artificial intelligence education for schools and institutions.DIG4Future is an Erasmus+ project co-funded by the European Commission which Save the Children Italy is coordinating, 4 European partners are also taking part to the project, Fondazione Bruno Kessler (Italy), Salvati Copiii (Romania), Partners Bulgaria Foundation (Bulgaria), KMOP (Greece).

The project aims to improve the digital skills of digitally excluded young people, living in disadvantaged contexts in urban/rural areas.

Beneficiaries of the project are 11-14 year-old children attending schools and youth centres in disadvantaged areas in Bulgaria, Italy, Greece and Romania.

These are contexts with strong material and educational poverty, whereas children’s rights to learn and develop skills and competences as well as to nurture their wishes and talents are significantly undermined. This also negatively affects their growth and the possibility to aspire to a different future. A future where artificial intelligence may pervade all the fields of the labour market, from less qualified jobs up to highly qualified profiles.

This project offers a 4 Modules education program in AI which is followed by a project work. The report explains the pedagogical approach, the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of results.

The report can be downloaded here.


Pictures from final conference in Samokov