The Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane (AUI) Center for Learning Technologies (CLT) and the Global Alliance for Africa (GAA), in an effort to bridge the gap in access to Information and Communications Technology (ICT), have partnered with the Moroccan Ministry of Education and CITI Association to provide digital learning programming to underprivileged middle and primary schools in the Ifrane region. This is in an effort to help students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds gain access to ICT education, in the hopes that it may improve their future educational and employment opportunities.
Thus, the GAA is donating a total of: 100 tablets, with their keyboards and covers (a total of 25 tablets per school); 4 large-screen, smart TVs for teaching purposes; 4 cabinets to store the tablets, batteries, and charging plugs; and a one-year internet subscription for the schools in the program. In order to be able to use these new ICT materials effectively and successfully in the classroom, CITI Association once again provided a one-day training to 20 instructors from these schools.
The first pilot program was introduced in three schools in the region with a one-day teacher training program in June 2021 at the AUI Azrou Center for Community Development. The training was attended by 20 participants from Al Farabi Middle School in Souk El Had, Omar Bnouabdel Aziz Middle School in Timahdit, and the AUI Azrou Center, for a non-formal education program. The training was conducted by members of CITI Association.
This year, the program will benefit a total of four additional schools: two middle schools and two primary schools in Azrou and Ain Lahnache. In this edition's teacher training, which was held on 24 March 2022, 20 instructors from these new schools learned how to use the tablets, the apps on the devices, as well as how to build and structure their lesson plans using this new technology. In particular, they learned how to use popular applications in the classroom, such as Office 365 and OneNote Class Notebook applications.
The ceremony during which the program was launched counted on the attendance of AUI officials; the director of the Delegation of Ifrane; the principals of middle and primary schools in the program; Mrs. Linda Stolz, Global Alliance coordinator; the Azrou Center education program coordinator; AUI faculty contributing to the program; CITI Association; CLT staff; and AUI Lion's Club students. In addition, the director of Global Aliance joined the event online. AUI Lion's Club students also participated in the program by providing training sessions on the use of tablets, in addition to online and onsite tutoring services.