Safi - The teaching-learning process in Morocco is getting more and more comprehensive due to the teachers’ growing awareness of the learners ‘needs. New awareness requires a change from common classroom interaction to a more motivating real-life strategy that can be applicable in everyday life. A new approach goes beyond the school walls and into the community to promote integration at the social level as well as the scholastic one.
Safi – The teaching-learning process in Morocco is getting more and more comprehensive due to the teachers’ growing awareness of the learners ‘needs. New awareness requires a change from common classroom interaction to a more motivating real-life strategy that can be applicable in everyday life. A new approach goes beyond the school walls and into the community to promote integration at the social level as well as the scholastic one.
“Connecting Classrooms” (CC) is a project that not only connects classes locally but globally as well. This new approach allows for connections to schools regardless of the distance. The main objective is to expose the students to various learning environments and allow them to compare their schools and learning strategies with others’.
Additionally, it is designed to promote free exchange of information between classes and to complement or supplement their available knowledge. It also fosters a sense of collaboration, coordination and solidarity among the students and teachers from around the globe. The effective and efficient use of ICT (Information Communication Technology) is to be the foundation upon which this project is based. Students are required to register and track their activities in PowerPoint presentations. These presentation will later by displayed in class for their classmates to comment on and discuss. It is also important to encourage the students to create and maintain diaries and record the important events in their lives.
Through a CC section entitled, “A Day in My Life,” Hassan II qualifying school, located in the center of an affluent neighborhood in Safi, held a visit for another qualifying school, Al Moutanabbi, in Tlat Bougedra, a village about 30kms away from Safi. It’s a boarding school, gathering students from the surrounding countryside and others ever from farther away. The school and its live-in students are without many things that we enjoy on a daily basis. Additionally, many of these students from the outlying areas come from poor families and illiterate parents. Often, these parents or guardians look for any reason at all to interrupt their children’s educations, many times under the pretext of being remotely located, lack of means of transportation and the lack of funds required for the education. Luckily, the boarders stick to their education, expecting a different future for themselves and for their families. One of the student, a young girl, said, “We have the keys to our problems if they let us carry on our studies.”
Having been previously informed about this school’s conditions, we collected donations consisting of clothing, hygienic articles and books for the boarders. According to the visiting customs, we also took a small tree (instead of flowers), specialty cookies from the city of Safi (Kaak), dry fruits and a big picture, a souvenir from our school. Forty students of different levels, five teachers and two members of the parents’ association filled the bus to the host school.
We arrived at 7:30am and were warmly welcomed by the staff and students of Al-Moutanabbi school. We sang the national anthem together and the students were divided into classes with their host-peers. Then, upon the mid-morning tea break, we planted the tree in the school-yard and then took a tour of the boarding facilities to see how the boarders live and what was possible for us to supply them with upon our next visit.
During the sports period, our students played the students of Al-Moutanabbi in a football match. When the means of entertainment are meager at best, football is often the go-to activity. The boys seemed well trained in the sport and the girls, used their vivid imaginations and entertained themselves with theater skits. After a collective couscous lunch, whose cost was supplemented by our parents’ association, the afternoon activities commenced. The boarding students put on skits that they wrote and produced, which spoke to the social problems that they often face. These topics ranged from illiteracy and lack of education to child exploitation by parents and the abuse of young girls as maids by some families from the civic society. These greatly appreciated activities were followed by a general knowledge quiz and a singing performance. The evening good-bye was heartfelt but the experience was promising. Another visit ensued, then a return visit. Since the last meeting, conferences, poetry reading and film showings have all been held for the students in Al-Moutanabbi.
The outcome of this visit was indeed fruitful and the students who participated in it were keenly aware of its importance. All the students recorded the activities of the day. Later, they created and presented PowerPoint presentations for all of the classroom to see, including text and pictures. And so, the linguistic side namely the use of tenses and appropriate vocabulary was displayed with the bias of ICT, an adopted and adapted means of learning.
Edited by Peter “Clay” Smith
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