March 24, 2021 - The team of the students from 'Ded Gjo Luli' school from Hot i Ri, Shkodër won the first prize in the Third Coding Challenge, organized by the British Council as part of the 21st Century Schools programme. The purpose of this event was to inspire the students using coding skills in problem solving activities of everyday life which they identified in their schools and in the local community.

The name of the winning project is 'Komuniteti im'. Using coding, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills taught in the 21st Century Schools programme, a team of young students Marija Pllumbaj and Marin Dedvukaj, with the support of their ICT teacher Jasmina Bajraktari, solved the problem of deforestation, flooding, traffic signs, ecosystem, weather forecasting as well as some anti-stress games for children during the current pandemic situation.

"I really enjoyed coding with the micro:bit. My friend and I managed to work as a team and create a fully functional prototype of various problems affecting our community. "Learning is definitely more fun this way." - said one of the winners.

Despite the pandemic and distance learning, teachers and students showed great resilience and willingness to create innovative projects and be part of the competition. The application process, as well as the application itself was conducted online, to protect all participants. Of the 145 who applied, the top ten school teams were selected to present their projects to the jury.

The 21st Century Schools programme is an ambitious 10 million pound program, funded by the UK government, designed and implemented by the British Council for the Western Balkans region.

The program is being implemented in partnership with relevant educational institutions in the Western Balkans region and aims to support over 1 million students aged 10-15 years in the development of coding, critical thinking and problem solving skills, providing better employment opportunities for the youth and ultimately supporting economic development for the countries involved.