Fandakova: Quality education is the real driver for development

Education is the strongest argument against populism, manipulation and sham solutions

‘Education is my personal cause and a top priority in my work, because quality education is the real driver for development. Education is foundation of the maturity of our society and the development of our economy, the municipalities and the country. The values of the European Union are an integral part of our lives - they are human dignity, freedom, democracy, the rule of law, human rights, solidarity. They are at the heart of our community, and their bricklaying is a daily task. They need daily upholding, learning and assertion, because none of them is given away for free, and accepting them for granted always put them at risk’, said the Mayor of Sofia, Yordanka Fandakova at a conference "The role of education for promoting the fundamental values of the EU", organized by the Association of Citizens for Bulgaria's European Future and "Marten Centre", Konrad Adenauer Foundation.

"Education is knowledge as well as independence and power. Education is the guarantor of development and quality of life. Education is the strongest argument against populism, against manipulation and sham solutions that we are often offered as solutions to everything", also said Fandakova.

"In the first place, the school is a community. The good schools of Sofia are an example also of good and strong community where the director, teachers, students and parents work together", said the Mayor of Sofia.

Sofia municipality invests and supports the schools of Sofia. Within 10 years, we have built over 100 kindergarten buildings, 20 new school buildings and extensions with new classrooms and gyms. Now we are planning the construction of another 6 new schools.

Sofia is an example of how the good education of the people who live and work here has changed the image of our city, attracted investors, brought our city to prestigious international rankings: Sofia is among the top 10 of the most attractive big cities for investment according to the Financial Times - fDi Intelligence - Global Cities of the Future (2018-19). In 2019, the World Bank and the Financial Times opened research centres in Sofia. Over 50% of those working in Sofia are people with higher education, and engineering disciplines are particularly attractive and in demand. The technology sector is the fastest growing in the city and creates conditions for the development of other industries facilitated by information and communication technologies.

Fandakova also pointed out that she had set up a separate position of deputy mayor for digitalization and investment. ‘One of our tasks is to establish a School Campus. This is my dream and I expect to attract high school and university affiliates from the Top 50 in the international rankings.’

The conference was attended by Commissioner Maria Gabriel, Minister Krasimir Valchev, Member of Parliament Milena Damyanova and Thorsten Geissler, Director of Konrad Adenauer Foundation.