News reports and social media in Bosnia and Herzegovina for the past few weeks are flooded with news about the autistic boy and former high school student Slavko Mršević. He became known to the public just recently but the issues of discrimination and severe humiliation he was exposed in his school started on 1 September 2016, when, at the request of the director, he was denied access to the high school (2nd grade) in Rudo, Bosnia and Herzegovina which he previously attended. His expulsion from school due to his autism resulted in the largest and most persistent individual protest against segregation in the history of this country.

Even though wrongly expelled, Slavko continues and insists on showing up in front of the school door to meet his companions during the breaks and tirelessly awaits his friend to finish classes and spend time with him in everyday activities. His peers are now attending third grade, but Slavko is still tirelessly coming to the door of the school and is awaiting his friends, and at the same time his faith in returning to school attracts attention of the media and the wider public to help correct the injustice he suffered in the past year and a half.

Having finally reached social media and news his case also came to Court and multiple teachers and the former school director who denied him access to school are being prosecuted. According to the information available in the official Bosnian media, the Law and school regulations allow no discrimination in classrooms and encourage and even ‘brag’ about introducing excellent conditions of inclusive education in Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, the practice in the case of Slavko Mršević shows that his basic human rights have been disrespected and violated. The most disappointing fact is that it took him and his family almost two years to get to the Prosecutor’s Office and charge the school director and some teacher for knowingly violating the Law and depriving the underage student of his legal rights as a special needs student. The fact that a few years earlier the Expert Evaluation Commission for Child and Adolescent Development proposed Slavko should continue his education and get the maximum support of psychological and pedagogical services makes the situation for director and teachers more serious.

According to sources Slavko was enrolled into high school in 2015, but in 2016 and second grade he did not get assessed in many subjects and it continued in the second, so his final grades were not finalized and he could not continue his education. The comments and reactions from the Ministry of Education and the School showed to be rare and really poor, so many media in Bosnia doubt them to have no concrete information why the boy was expelled, nor who actually ordered it and based on what grounds. Social media messages on a Facebook page made in Slavko’s honor show the public is disgusted by the school’s actions and that they are suspicious the case would even get to Court if it was not for intensive media coverage and social media activities in the past few months.

At the moment the situation seems really gloomy, but hopefully, Slavko will get back to school and all his problems will be solved with the legal prosecution process. He receives the support of friends and family as well as many celebrities, and the entire country stands behind him hoping his wishes will come true.




EYA featuring EYA Ambassador


   Ljubica, you are a freelancer and a home-based teacher and translator/interpreter. What made you want to work for yourself only? How did you get the idea for it?

Being a freelancer in the Balkans is not an easy task and it requires a lot of explaining to people around you. Unfortunately, even though freelancing in any job field is rather profitable and well-paid in most countries, this is not the case for Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. I have a lot of prejudice to face with, because family and friends do not precisely understand what self-employment means. It is hard for them to imagine I would rather sit at my laptop and teach via Skype or give private lessons than work for example in a primary school. Translating and interpreting are a bit easier, but the other everyday tasks I have are just something people are not used to around here.

You have your own website that besides your professional skills promotes your passion for writing poetry and prose. Can you tell us a little bit about these interests and how it relates to your work?

The idea of a website appeared completely by accident, as I got an offer to write travel blog posts, and needed my own virtual space to promote my work. I already had a Facebook page where I wrote poems and short quotes from my so called novel that has never been finished, and then I just turned it into photo material for Instagram and my website and one thing led to another. Now I use it to promote my work with and for blind and visually impaired children who study English as a second/foreign language, tutoring, advising, translation and interpreting but also for the promotion of my creative work. Of course, this would have never been possible without the enormous help of people who showed me and keep teaching me every day how to manage working online and posting content on the Internet, since modern technologies are not really my thing – I’m more of a pen and paper type of a girl 🙂

Your work with the blind and visually impaired students started with your Masters thesis. How did you get the idea to publish it and how did things develop after that?

The idea of publishing has always been very attractive in my professional field, so after publishing a few scientific papers related to this topic as well as others, in 2016. I published an extended version of my Masters thesis, written entirely in English. I was surprised how well it was accepted, so right now I’m negotiating with The Center for blind and visually impaired children and youth from Sarajevo to publish a version in our mother tongue (i.e. Bosnian, Croatian, Serbia) as well as in Braille. The idea is to make my research available not just for teachers of English, but everyone working with blind and visually impaired children, and even the children themselves. So all in all after the initial disappointment of how blind and visually impaired students are treated in Balkan schools I can say that things seem to be learning to a more positive side right now.

What was the most valuable experience  you have had since you started this journey?

I wish I could say there is a positive experience, but in a way I am glad that it is not. I am not really used to getting things easily and without problems and complications, so most of the things I’ve learned and achieved so far in this field are precious just because they came to me the hard way. My greatest disappointment was the lack of hope and interest of people around me, especially colleagues I worked with, in the problems visually impaired students have. People who taught them longer than me could just advise me to give them less tasks and fewer lessons to learn, and satisfy with lower grades. They assumed the students would be happy just to pass and that was supposed to be good enough for me, too. However, for me nothing is never good enough.

Where do you see yourself and the projects you work on in the next five years?

If luck serves me, well, I hope to be somewhere close to the finish line of my PhD (if I start soon), and that my work and projects and cooperation with EYA and institutions in Bosnia will bring great changes in the life and education of the blind and visually impaired students. So that theory and practice in schools in the Balkans finally show he same results and not just be a dead piece of paper with rules and standards that no one actually respects and follows.

You have participated in EYA projects and been and Ambassador for Croatia and Bosnia for a couple of years now. What do you expect from this year’s entries for the European Youth Award?

I entered the EYA team also by accident and plan to continue to support them as much as I can, since they also support me. As all the previous years, I expect this year’s entries, evens and hackathons to be a success once again. Also, hopefully even more people will join us and work with us to see the beauty and advantages of social innovation and the projects we support.

What would you like to say to all the young social entrepreneurs and the EYA community?

You should never settle down for anything less than what you want. It is not always going to be easy to work what you want and get what you want, and at most times it will not get you any money or profit, nor success, but it will give you internal satisfaction and strength to keep pushing your way. That is what happiness is all about











Ne odgovaram.


Pogriješiću šta god da kažem.

I kako god pokušam

da nam objasnim,

da nas objasnim,

da nas razjasnim.




i nadam se.


Nikad niko ne smije da me zna

tako, toliko, ovoliko, ikoliko.







The social and economic progresses we experience today have brought numerous changes to our everyday lives. In doing so, the ways in which we perceive the world are constantly changing. With the increased development and mass usage of digital technologies in daily life, it is both expected and understandable that sooner or later we would begin to digitalise both the learning and the teaching progress.

Unprepared for innovation and change, some may fear that computers and digital technologies could take teachers places in school. Not only saving time, but also government money. However, this notion is far from the truth. The fact is that a lot of recourses and financial means are invested into digital technologies, in both developed countries and those still in transition. Despite their rapid implementation, there is little evidence of efficiency or effectiveness within a the classroom environment.

The so-called ‘digital divide’ between the rich and the poor means that students across the globe do not have the same opportunities at gaining access to these expensive equipments. Even if we put the difficulties of basic connections and finances aside, the human factor has to be addressed. There are natural suspicions of traditional ‘old school’ teachers who are concerned about the safety of students and the treat of cyber-bullying. Generally, many of us start judging modern digital technologies before even trying them out in the classroom, and we cannot help but worry about the protection of personal information, hacking and student’s health (let’s face it – teenagers see more of their phones and PCs than their own parents on a daily basis).

On the other hand, introducing modern and ‘cool stuff’ into a bland and simple classroom environment can be also helpful and encouraging for students. The overall positive idea and main point of introducing digital technologies is to encourage independent learning and exploration, active learning and teaching. It should allow the students to learn freely and communicate remotely, but still be able to share information with their peers and teachers in a better way.

It should be the role of the teachers to make better use of the digital technologies available. If instructed properly, they will be able to rise children’s awareness on proper use of new methods in the classroom and of course, use it to support students’ learning. But how do teachers accept these changes into their everyday routines?

It is difficult to determine, at this early stage, if the digitalisation will impact our standardised learning and teaching processes in a positive or negative way. The opinions still remain divided both among students and teachers, and among teachers themselves. Maybe an even more modern digital era of the future will bring us more precise answers.



Društveni i ekonomski napredak koji doživljavamo danas donose nam brojne promjene u svakodnevnom životu. Na taj način, načini na koje opažamo svijet se stalno mijenjaju. Uz povećani razvoj i masovno korištenje digitalnih tehnologija u svakodnevnom životu, očekuje se i razumljivo je da ćemo prije ili kasnije početi digitalizirati i učenje i napredak nastave.

Nepripremljeni za inovacije i promjene, neki se mogu bojati da bi računala i digitalne tehnologije mogle zauzeti učiteljske pozicije u školi. Ne samo da štede vrijeme nego i državni novac. Međutim, ovaj je pojam daleko od istine. Činjenica je da se u digitalne tehnologije ulaže mnogo napora i financijskih sredstava, kako u razvijenim zemljama tako i onima u tranziciji. Usprkos njihovoj brzoj provedbi, malo je dokaza o generalnoj učinkovitosti ili učinkovitosti u okruženju u učionici.

Takozvani “digitalni jaz” između bogatih i siromašnih znači da učenici širom svijeta nemaju iste mogućnosti dobivanja pristupa tim skupim uređajima. Čak i ako stavimo na stranu poteškoće s osnovnim povezivanjem i finansijama, treba riješiti I pojam ljudskog faktora. Postoje prirodne sumnje tradicionalnih učitelja “starih škola” koji su zabrinuti za sigurnost studenata i odnos prema cyber-bullyingu. Općenito, mnogi od nas počnu prosuđivati moderne digitalne tehnologije prije no što ih isprobamo u razredu, a ne možemo ne brinuti o zaštiti osobnih podataka, hakiranju i zdravlju učenika (jer realno gledajući – tinejdžeri vide više svojih telefona i računala nego vlastite roditelje na dnevnoj bazi).

S druge strane, uvođenje modernih i “cool stvari” u prostu i jednostavnu učionicu može biti korisno i ohrabrujuće za učenike. Cjelokupna pozitivna ideja i glavna svrha uvođenja digitalnih tehnologija je poticanje neovisnog učenja i istraživanja, aktivnog učenja i podučavanja. Ona bi trebala omogućiti učenicima slobodno učenje i komunikaciju na daljinu, ali će I dalje moći bolje razmjenjivati informacije sa svojim vršnjacima i nastavnicima.

Uloga nastavnika trebala bi biti poboljšanje upotrebe dostupnih digitalnih tehnologija. Ako ih upućuju ispravno, moći će se podići svijest djece o pravilnoj primjeni novih metoda u učionici i, naravno, upotrijebiti je za podupiranje učenja učenika. Ali kako nastavnici prihvaćaju te promjene u svoje svakodnevne rutine?

Teško je utvrditi, u ovoj ranoj fazi, da li će digitalizacija uticati na naše standardno učenje i poučavanje na pozitivan ili negativan način. Mišljenja i dalje ostaju podijeljena kako između učenika i učitelja, tako i među samim nastavnicimaa. Možda će još modernije i naprednije razdoblje u budućnosti donijeti preciznije odgovore.

@ Ownership of FEM publishing,

Original post on FEM