Coding across the Western Balkans

Computer coding is revolutionising primary schools in the Western Balkans

Children jumping in front of their school

In 1952, the British Council worked with ministries across the Western Balkans to support the introduction of English language learning in classrooms. Now, almost 70 years later, a new language is spreading through their classrooms – computer coding. 

We are supporting every primary school across the Western Balkans to strengthen their digital education teaching using the micro:bit and Code Clubs.

"In response to the changes in national education policies in the Western Balkans, we designed a programme to support innovative teaching methodology and improve children’s digital skills."
Clare Sears, British Council Director Western Balkans

A person holding a micro:bit device in their hands with lights appearing on the display.

The BBC micro:bit is a pocket-sized codeable computer with motion detection, a built-in compass and Bluetooth technology.

The BBC micro:bit is a pocket-sized codeable computer with motion detection, a built-in compass and Bluetooth technology.

Working alongside the school curriculum, we're providing students aged between 10 and 14 with digital, problem solving and critical thinking skills needed for their future.

School children staring at their computers.

“Digital literacy should be the fourth pillar of education alongside reading, writing and mathematics.”
- House of Lords Report, 2017

Just as English fluency is considered a future skill, so now is digital literacy. The enormous demand for digital skills in education systems is causing curriculum reform all over the world to boost stability, employability and prosperity.

There are around 4,500 primary schools in the Western Balkans.

Teenagers laughing at what they managed to code on their micro:bits

We're working with each school to boost digital education with the micro:bit and Code Clubs.

By helping children learn new digital skills, our vision is to inspire the next generation of innovators across the region.

By 2021 we will reach:

Infographic showing micro:bit plans to reach up to 1 million children, 22500 teachers and 4500 primary schools.

“Our teacher explained chemistry elements in fun way through games using the micro:bit.”

Student using their computer.

“The thing I like the most is it all feels like playing a game. It is creative, fun and logical.”

Teacher, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Teacher, Bosnia and Herzegovina

The British Council is also working with the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a UK-based charity that works to put the power of digital making into the hands of people all over the world. 

Together we're launching free Code Clubs across all 4,500 primary schools in the Western Balkans to help children understand and shape our increasingly digital world.

By launching Code Clubs, we aim to empower children to be able to solve the problems that matter to them, and equip them for the jobs of the future.

"I think it's important for every child to gain computer skills regardless of gender. Technology is the language of their future."

A teacher and a student looking at their micro:bits outside a pink building.

90 per cent of teachers believe Code Clubs and using the micro:bit will inspire students to code outside of the classroom.

"I think this programme will provide fantastic foundations for a new generation of successful, educated entrepreneurs in the region."

-Alan Duncan, UK Minister of State for Europe and the Americas

Sustainable Development Goals

Working towards the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals.

Working towards the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals.

21st Century Schools is being delivered in co-operation with local Ministries of Education across the Western Balkans. We wish to thank all of the Ministers and their staff involved in the project implementation. 

In partnership with:

micro:bit and Code Club

As a founding partner of the Micro:bit Educational Foundation, and a partner with Code Club, we create opportunities for young people to learn about coding.

Aerial view of children using their micro:bit in class.

Find out how British Council uses the micro:bit to support Creative Computing in BangladeshCoding for RefugeesGirls Making Tech in South Africa and Coding in our English Language Summer Schools.