At the start of a new school year, we are very pleased to announce that the British and Foreign School Society (BFSS) has renewed funding for another year for our two educational projects in Taroudannt: Pre-school and School Support programmes. Over the past three years, the BFSS has generously supported these two programmes, which form a large part of the essential services we provide to the children and young people at Centre Amane.
In order to celebrate this continued funding, we thought we would take an opportunity to look back over the past six months work at Centre Amane, showing why these two educational programmes are so important to the families and local community in Taroudannt.
Our school support programme provides daily sessions to provide students 1:1 and small group support with their homework and academic studies. The classes are run in three different sessions (morning, afternoon, evening) in order to involve as many children as possible according to their school schedules.
In the last six months, our school support programme has also seen an increase in the structure of our local volunteering programme. We have taken on two new local volunteers to help with support sessions, with a particular focus on core academic subjects such as maths and science.
At the end of the past academic year, the majority of the students attending were progressing very well in their studies at school alongside the Centreâ€™s school support programme. Additionally, two children with whom we have been working since the start of the project in October 2010, successfully completed and passed their BAC â€“ a milestone for the programme at the Centre!
As part of this programme, we completed a successful pilot year of a mentoring project â€“ the first of its kind to be run in Morocco. The mentoring pairing in the pilot year resulted in self-reported increased self-confidence in the mentee, aiding his ability to form healthy relationships with peers and to trust others. Observations shared by the mentor, the mentee’s mother, social workers and teachers at Centre Amane also noted this progress. We are also pleased to announce that the mentor from this pairing will take on a mentor supervisor role of new mentors this year and will also start another mentoring relationship.
Our pre-school programme now been running since October 2011, providing 15 children aged 3-5 years a safe place to play and learn. The children who attend would otherwise miss out on this important preparation for the transition to primary school as their families cannot afford to enrol them in the private pre-school system in Morocco. This programme ensures the childrenâ€™s development in personal, social, emotional, physical, communicative, literacy and numeracy skills are being monitored and nurtured to ensure they have the means to pursue a well-rounded education, opening opportunities to a brighter future in Taroudannt.
At the end of last year we had a total of 7 children â€˜graduatingâ€™ from our pre-school and moving into primary school. In this new academic year we have taken on 8 new children. The programme has a wider impact for many of the families, and alongside educational and developmental aims, one of the key functions of the pre-school is to provide childcare that allows single and/or unsupported mothers to take on employment and bring a secure wage into the family. The pre-school programme did not cease over the summer and school holiday periods in order to allow parents to maintain childcare during their working hours. In 2013/14, in 11 of the 15 families enrolled in the pre-school the mother was working. In 4 cases, women had been able to undertake part-time farm work thanks to their child’s pre-school placement.
MCT would like to express our sincere gratitude to the BFSS for its continued support and genuine interest in the sustainability of these programmes. We are looking forward to yet another successful school year!