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Public invitation to schools for participation in the ProMikro project

6. September 2017.
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CARNET, the Institute for Youth Development and Innovation – IRIM and the Ministry of Science and Education, presented a major ProMikro project with the objective of introducing digital literacy into various course subjects and extracurricular activities by the use of microcomputers. On the joint media conference an interactive programming demonstration was held by using micro:bit.

“Introduction of microcomputer programming in primary schools in Croatia is a praiseworthy initiative of the Institute for Youth Development and Innovation and Mr. Nenad Bakić personally, and it fits excellently into the Government’s programme STEM Croatia. Introducing the possibility of working on microcomputers for all 6th grade students aims at development of students’ digital competences, promotion of creativity and innovation, and interdisciplinary approach to the use of information technologies. The project contributes to digital transformation of schools and increases the level of its digital maturity, and eventually contributes to the objective of creating schools for life, and not for grades. I hereby thank IRIM for the initiative, CARNET and the Croatian Employers’ Association for partnership, but also the team in the Ministry who showed that the system has to be inclusive and that together we can make big steps forward! Never forget: the opportunities for change do not exist by themselves – we create them!”,said Blaženka Divjak, Ph.D., the Minister of Science and Education.

“Our portfolio of STEM activities on various platforms has already reached 45,000 children in Croatia, but our main project is based on BBC micro:bit, of which we are a regional partner. It is a technology which enables radical steps forward in digital literacy and introduction of cross-curricular life informatics, with full democratization and equality of opportunities. It is our goal to make Croatian students equal 21st century citizens. Our STEM revolution action has a big public support, and our goal from the beginning was that every child in a generation gets a microcomputer, and that teachers get the necessary education. Although we could have achieved that goal ourselves, we believed that it would be ideal to accomplish it in synergy with institutions, so we offered it to the previous Ministry, but unfortunately, without success. However, in this Ministry we found excellent partners and I believe that we are on the right path to make the MSE recognised as the Ministry of Future. Specifically, education is the biggest investment that a family, but also a society as a whole, makes, and with the clear and brave leadership that we now have, it is also an opportunity for unity, which we lack today in Croatia”, said the IRIM cofounder and entrepreneur, Mr. Nenad Bakić.

“CARNET continues to work on development of digital competences of our users because we know that development of that knowledge and skills is one of the key preconditions for successful inclusion of an individual into the present society and labour market, and we will continue on this path. The use of microcomputers in teaching develops digital skills, logical thinking and problem solving ability”, said CARNET CEO, Mr. Goran Kezunović.

“Digitalisation and the use of new technologies in business and everyday life are today essential for economic and social development of every country. This is why the Croatian Employers’ Association happily and readily decided to support this project by funding the education of teachers for the use of microcomputers. This project will provide children with early access to new technologies and adoption of knowledge and skills development required for their use in order to timely prepare themselves for future life and labour market. We consider our investment to be a long-term investment in better future and progress of Croatia. We stressed many times that we believe the educational reform is a base of all reforms and we therefore hope this extremely valuable initiative will soon be followed by other changes which will provide us with a better-quality and more competitive education”, said Mr. Davor Majetić, Director General at the Croatian Employers Association (HUP).

All schools that express interest for the Public Invitation for participation in the ProMikro project will be provided with the opportunity of teacher education by IRIM, and the schools will decide independently about the methods of use of microcomputers in their classes. Education of teachers from the interested schools will start at the beginning of October on different locations, and the participation does not require prior knowledge of microcomputer programming. In addition to the education, all teachers will be provided with micro:bit computers for permanent use. Participation of schools will be on voluntary basis, and the deadline for the expression of interest is 20 September 2017.