Close cooperation between Morocco and the United States to upgrade the performance of schools and improve student learning : Visit of the First Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden, to the Ibn Al Aarif high school in Marrakech

The First Lady of the United States of America, Dr. Jill Biden, who was accompanied by the Minister of National Education, of Preschool and Sports, Mr. Chakib Benmoussa, and the United States Ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco, Mr. Puneet Talwar, paid a visit, on Monday, June 05, 2023 in Marrakech, to the Ibn Al Aarif high school.

This high school is one of the 90 beneficiary schools in the Marrakech-Safi, Fez-Meknes and Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima Regions of the "Secondary Education" project under the "Compact II" cooperation program, concluded between the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco and the Government of the United States, acting through Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), and whose implementation has been entrusted to the Millennium Challenge Account-Morocco Agency (MCA-Morocco).

Intervening following the closure of "Compact II" recorded on March 31, 2023, this visit was an opportunity to note the fruits of the deployment of the "Lycée Attahadi" model, the main component of the "Secondary Education" project, at the level of this school in terms of enhancing its efficiency and performance and improving student learning and academic results.

Indeed, the deployment of the "Lycée Attahadi" model consisted of providing integrated support to the target secondary education schools, focusing on strengthening their administrative and financial autonomy, promoting a pedagogy centered on the student, and improving the physical learning environment through adequate rehabilitation of school infrastructure and the supply of equipment necessary for educational innovation.

This visit, in which took part the Wali of the Marrakech-Safi Region, the Governor of the Prefecture of Marrakech, Mr. Karim Kassi-Lahlou, the Director General of the MCA-Morocco Agency, Mrs. Malika Laasri, the Director of the Regional Academy of Education and Training (AREF) of Marrakech-Safi, Mr. Moulay Ahmed Elkarimi, and the Resident Director of MCC in Morocco, Mrs. Carrie Monahan, was an opportunity for Dr. Biden to meet the students and teachers, the main beneficiaries of the investments made at the level of this school, in particular those participating in school clubs dedicated to robotics and life skills aiming to enable students to strengthen their individual and professional skills, to develop their leadership and communication potential and improve their employability.

In this regard, the Ibn Al Aarif high school has been equipped with robotic equipment aimed at strengthening the innovation capacities of students, particularly in the fields of coding and robotics. This equipment is made up of 10 ARDUINO digital and robotic control kits and 2 robotic experimentation packs, each of which is made up of 3 robots and a discovery case containing 20 additional modules. Intended exclusively for college secondary schools, of which there are 62 in the three target regions, this material benefits nearly 52,730 students annually.

This school was also equipped with computer and didactic material to support the implementation of the “Lycée Attahadi” model. In order to contribute to the efforts made to promote quality education, the computer equipment is composed, among others, of laptop and desktop computers, multifunction printers, shared storage servers, WIFI access point, cabinets, mobile carts, video projectors, projection screens with tripod, classroom management software and multimedia cases.

For its part, the didactic material made it possible to equip the laboratories of Life and Earth Sciences, Physics and Chemistry, information technology and Communication for teaching, as well as multimedia rooms and classrooms. This material aims to promote innovative pedagogical practices to improve the learning of the aforementioned scientific disciplines. Composed of computer-assisted physics-chemistry laboratory kits, measuring devices and laptops and biology experimentation kits, this equipment annually benefits nearly 82,000 students from the 90 schools benefiting from the "Secondary Education" project. » at the level of the three target regions.

Moreover, infrastructure works have been carried out at the level of the Ibn Al Aarif high school with the aim of improving the learning environment for around 1,200 students in this school. This work focused in particular on the construction of a multi-purpose block (refreshment bar, library and infirmary), the rehabilitation of the existing library into an orientation and listening area, the reorganization of the existing locker-rooms and the and provision of space for bicycles.