Elementary school "Miroslav Krleža", Zenica, in the past period has made significant investments in its own infrastructure to make it more inclusive. The school has been included in many internationally funded projects.  Some of them were particularly focused on social inclusion of vulnerable students. 

On one occasion in the hallway, the teacher on duty noticed that during the transfer of students from one classroom to another, after tying the shoelaces, one boy with sensory difficulties (deaf-mute) lost contact with his friends and could not call them, which made him panic. The teacher then came on the idea to engage a code club to create devices that would enable this student to communicate easier with his teacher.

Students from the Micro:bit club really liked this idea. As a part of the Micro:bit club students and teachers have created a code that would bind two Micro:bit devices. One device was supposed to be fixed on the teacher's wrist, and one on the wrist of a student with sensory difficulties. It was planned that the student wears one of the devices on the wrist that would be connected to the teacher, and at the push of a button, it would audibly signal to the teacher that the boy is calling her. In the same sequence, when the teacher wants to draw the student's attention, or call him, by pressing a button on his device, it would vibrate signal to the student that the teacher is calling him.

Unfortunately, although the students were working hard, Covid pandemics cut their work short and once Covid pandemic started they stopped their work on this project. The devices were never finalized and the student never got to use this device. Covid was inhibiting factor here which had great impact in this case, because The Government of BiH prohibited any kind of extra curriculum activities after Covid pandemic started, the school had to stop with all project activities and according to the English teacher they ‘could not develop the project fully’.

Impact of the program

In relation to the programme implementation the main identified factor has been the project relevance. According to our respondents programming and coding are skills of the future and therefore it is very important for students to code and to get familiar with different technology based devices. Therefore, the programme was recognised as important among teachers, students and parents and they all have been very motivated to learn to work with Micro:bit.

All of the above enabled school staff to always find ways to include vulnerable kids. For instance, 38 economically vulnerable children every day get free school lunch funded by the local community. Also school gave tablets to those students that did not have devices at home to support their easier home based learning. Also, in cooperation with the Canton government the school ensured that all students got solid and stable Internet connection at home. BiH Telecom helped with this initiative.


Assistant Director also emphasised that the transparency has been a crucial element of successful cooperation with donors.  In that regard she says ‘when donors give some money to the school, they can see what we have done with it, they can see the automatic improvement. That is why they will always give again.’

The programme has had a moderate impact on students and teachers of the school and it further supported inclusion of disadvantaged kids enrolled in the school. Many students of the 9th grade participated in the Micro:bit club and deepened and developed social sensitivity and empathy for children with disabilities.  They understood better some of the problems of students with sensory disabilities and increased capacity to see world and the school from perspective of students who do not hear and cannot speak.

Also, the project itself raised the safety of deaf-mute students as an issue. Potentially, if finalized, the project could increase security of the students with disabilities and would make everyday teaching and learning easier for them.

Finally, the school staff broke some prejudices that language teachers cannot code. Also, older, more conservative teachers overcame their fear from technology and got involved in the project. In that regard one of the respondents said: ‘They firstly had a bit of fear that they can break something but they relaxed over the time’.

Different project, school and family factors have been identified as contributing to the program impact.