The Near East Foundation UK (NEF-UK) and its Morocco-based partners, NEF Morocco and Tichka Association aim to improve access to and quality of primary education for poor girls and boys in 14 villages in the Ouarzazate Province of southern-central Morocco. Building on a successful model piloted by NEF Morocco, we will achieve this by strengthening parent-teacher associations, designing child-led extra-curricular activities, and engaging disadvantaged parents to send their children regularly to school and enroll children who would not otherwise enroll.
The project will work in partnership with 6 “mother” school villages and 8 “satellite” school villages; targeting approximately 1,550 primary school-aged children (1st through 6th grades) — 10 per cent estimated not to be attending schools. Selected project activities will engage a further 10 “satellite” schools; supporting additional 550 primary school-aged children.
In total, about 2,100 primary school-aged children will benefit from improved access to a quality primary education. The project will increase children’s enrolment among children that are not attending schools, reduce dropouts and increase attendance among children at risk of dropouts or those not attending schools regularly, and increase parental engagement leading to higher performance in education among school children.
We will build the skills of PTAs at 14 primary schools to engage in civic processes, consensus building and group processes with school management and other actors; and to develop fundraising, administrative and financial management, and communication plans that are supportive of quality and accessibility of primary education for 2,100 school-aged children. We will also increase by 70 per cent the level of understanding of rural cultural environment among teachers and SMBs linked to teachers’ absenteeism. We will improve by 50 per cent the representation of women and disadvantaged families at PTAs. We will also enable PTAs at 14 primary schools to start and sustain social businesses that can generate social and income returns used to support school improvements and to tackle barriers to education benefiting 1,550 primary school-aged children.
We will facilitate the formation of 14 women-led groups or associations led by at least 28 women leaders. We will build their skills to be able to tackle root causes of non-attendance, increase primary school attendance, address social norms and traditions, reduce child labour and promote the recognition of the value of education, especially for girls. We will enable disadvantaged families and other community members to engage in 34 school-hosted community engagement events that can help close the psychological and social gap between the school and the community and reconnect schools with their socio-cultural environment. Sixty per cent of community members will experience tangible change through increased skills, understanding and platforms to engage in inclusive discourse and develop plans to address barriers constraining school-aged children to attend primary schools. We will also facilitate 14 cross-disciplinary joint actions, 3 exchange visits, 2 roundtables and 1 learning paper in project areas to engage in inclusive discourse on the root causes of non-attendance and dropouts at 24 primary schools and overall primary education in rural Morocco.
This model has a high potential for replication and presents an added value for joint action.