by Madani Ait Kabbout
Morocco World News
Ouarzazate, September 22, 2102
For the first time in Morocco and the Maghreb area, 14 middle and high schools in three Moroccan Regional Academies for Education and Training were awarded the prestigious International School Award “ISA”. The adjudication panel for the 2012 ISA met in Rabat on Thursday 13 September 2012. The panel, including representatives of academies, the Ministry of Education and the organizers, the British Council, convened to check that the work under scrutiny in this pilot year met the required standard. The Moroccan International School Award scheme has emerged from the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms Project (CCP). In brief, schools are required to demonstrate a commitment to the international dimension in their formal curriculum and implement a set of projects involving most pupils and school subjects across the academic year. Collaboration with overseas partners and self-evaluation are also required in the portfolio submitted for adjudication.
The communiqué issued by Sous Massa Draa (SMD) Academy, on Thursday 20 September 2012, announced that the jury decided to grant the Label of the International School Award to a total of 14 educational institutions belonging to 3 Academies (Souss Massa Draa, Doukkala Abda and Meknes Tafilalet). Eight of the schools belong to the SMD area. They are as follows: Sidi Ahmed Bennacer high school (Zagora), the private Institution Alhanan, Sheikh Saadi, Tagadirt Naabadou middle schools (Agadir Idaoutanan), Ibn Soulaiman Roudani and Sidi ou sidi high schools (Taroudant), Ibn Alhaitham Technical high school and Cadi Ayyad middle school (Ouarzazate).
The awarding of the great label, as stated in SMD Academy communiqé, came as a fruit of the continuous efforts invested throughout the last three years by the Sous-Massa-Draa Regional Academy team – including the cluster coordinators Mr Abdellatif Zoubair and Mr Mohammed Hassim, who have been in charge of supervising partnership projects within the Connecting Classrooms Scheme. The project turned into an official nationwide programme following the signature on May 27, 2011 of a memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of National Education and the British Council. The success achieved by the schools above came as the outcome of the constructive work of the teacher coordinators of the project who have managed to integrate innovative approaches along with a global dimension into their teaching practices. The British Council officials – including Amina Elabdellaoui, Ghizlane Lachir and Ibtissam Berrado- have been providing guidance and support during the last three-year period of the project in Morocco.
Chris Williams – The expert and the Chairman of the panel from the United Kingdom – stated that
At the end of a jury session which lasted eight hours, the panel unanimously agreed that all 14 schools should be approved for accreditation with the Full International School Award in 2012. The applicants are to be congratulated… I would like to thank everyone in the schools, the inspectorate and the British Council for the great courtesy, warm welcomes and huge enthusiasm for the international dimension.”
Madani Ait Kabbout is a high school teacher of English in Ibn Alhaitham Technical School (ouarzazate)