Study trip to Morocco: Regional exchange and networking

The Mayor and chairperson of the Learning Centre in Er-Rachidia reports on the work in situ

At the initiative of DVV International, colleagues, decision-makers in ministries as well as state representatives from Western, Eastern and Southern Africa, travelled to Morocco at the end of April 2015 for a study trip.

With support from DVV International, and in close cooperation with the German Adult Education Association (DVV) as well as with individual adult education centres in Germany, various agencies in Morocco have developed “Universités pour Tous” (Universities for All – UPT) in recent years in the towns of Rabat, Marrakech and Casablanca. Borrowing from the German “Volkshochschule” model, these offer a range of courses and training, particularly for literacy and to promote societal participation. Parallel to this, the implementation of a literacy policy in the constitutional monarchy led Morocco to enact a large number of new programmes and to establish further local rural and urban learning centres, known as “Centres d’Apprentissage Communautaire”.

The trip passed through Rabat, Er-Rachidia, Merzouga, Skoura, Ouarzazate, Marrakech and Casablanca. The African participants became familiar with the Moroccan adult education and literacy landscape through large numbers of local inspections, presentations, group discussions and discussion fora. They exchanged information with colleagues in the Moroccan UPTs, other learning centres and governmental authorities, as well as inter se, on models, best practices and framework conditions. The constraints and weaknesses of the various educational approaches and types of institution in the different countries were also discussed in this process.

For the participants, the talks and the exchange, both with the hosts and among themselves were highly enriching and inspirational for their own work. Participation facilitated a more profound insight both into the work of DVV International and into the work and outlook of the regional projects in Western, Eastern and Southern Africa. The talks and exchange of experience enabled the colleagues to form contacts both within groups and with policy-makers from the partner countries, and to discuss ideas for future cooperation. For instance, the South African participants received considerable input for the conceptual further development of the “Community Colleges” that they are planning. A regional strategy workshop is already planned to take place in June 2015 for the Western African region which will tackle the experience that has been gained.

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