The countries of the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia) have been in a process of transition to a market economy over the past 30 years that is in some respects still not yet complete, in part due to the interrupting effects of wars and conflicts, in part due to the delayed onset of transition that in some countries (e.g., Serbia) did not really get off the ground until the democratic turn began in 2000. The economic restructuring that the transition has involved has created a demand for new skills following the introduction of new technologies and new forms of business organisation.
The need for the development of Information and Computer Technology (ICT) and coding skills among school pupils is recognised by all governments in the region in key strategic documents. However, the roll-out of coding, programming, informatics and ICT in primary schools varies from one country to another.
The British Council 21st Century Schools Programme is a three-year programme to provide training to school leaders and teachers in the skills needed to improve the teaching practice using critical thinking and problem solving (CTPS) teaching methods and the application of IT skills, primarily coding and programming within the classroom using micro:bit hardware donated by the UK government.
This Baseline Report presents the characteristics of the primary education systems in the Western Balkans prior to Programme implementation that are relevant to the baseline stage of the British Council 21st Century Schools Programme. The main aim of the Baseline Report is to establish the initial measurement of the evaluation indicators, outcomes and outputs as set out in the Programme Evaluation Plan. The Baseline Report also examines the basic assumptions of the Theory of Change (Logic Model) of the Programme, which identifies how Programme interventions are expected to bring about the various outputs and outcomes of the Programme. It therefore checks the assumptions on which the effective delivery of the Programme are based.