Mattresses & bedding help give Moroccan boarding students a better night's sleep
Since gaining its independence from France in 1956, Morocco has made educating its citizens a national priority. In 1959, a newly established Ministry of National Education set about building local schools, implementing reforms to the education system, and training Moroccan nationals to replace foreign teachers.
Progress has been slow but steady. By 1985, enrollment of school-age children in schools had risen to 85%, up from 17% at independence, and a 2010 World Bank report puts the country's literacy rate at 79.47% in 2009 among people of the ages of 15-24. The Ministry of Education has formalized plans to eliminate illiteracy in the country altogether by 2015.
Still, obstacles remain to this ambitious program. Some young students in Africa have a long way to travel to school—if they attend at all. An oasis set in remote southeastern Morocco, where the Sahara meets the Atlas Mountains, the city of Tineghir has been tasked with educating students from a wide region. Many families in the region are poor and rely on relatives working in Europe to send them the money they need to survive. Educational facilities are limited, and many young children must live at their school in order to receive an education.
In 2004, Grand Circle Foundation partnered with Dar ET-Taleb Education Center, a boarding school in Tineghir for 160 boys ages eleven to 18. Built in 1978, the school is a locally supported organization that provides educational opportunities for children who would not be able to travel to school on a daily basis.
Over the years, the Foundation has helped fund much-needed showers, restroom facilities, computers and computer tables, and a soccer court, so the children can enjoy some well-earned recreation. A Grand Circle community service project at the school also painted the façade of the building.
As every parent knows, however, in order to learn, a student needs a good night's sleep. Last year, the Foundation purchased mattresses, blankets, and bedding for 70 beds to help students feel more at home and rest more comfortably. The donation brings the Foundation's total support for the school to $27,450 to date.
Featured in our March/Aprill 2013 E-Newsletter. Read the full issue here.