Jul 23, 2021

Update: Equip a Computer Room in Rural Morocco

using devices to revise for the exams
using devices to revise for the exams

Thank you for supporting this project! Computers have never been more important and distance learning has became the new norm due to the pandemic. We always had a few computers in the EFA houses, however after the pandemic, we realised we needed to increase the amount, to ensure the girls could keep up with their studies. 

Computers and devices have been a life-line for the EFA girls since March 2020. The pandemic caused many disruptions, including a 3 month lockdown in their villages, and reduced lesson time even when the lockdown ended. It was much harder for the girls to learn, so self-learning with the help of technology became vital. 

Having access to computers, and the skills to use them, meant the girls could evolve into the new way of learning. Instead of lessons, they found online programmes to teach them science, Arabic and French. They formed study gorups using whatsapp and could even ask their teachers for online support. They also had volunteers giving them academic support via video conference!

With this project and some additional grant-funding, we were able to upgrade to newer computers (old ones and donated ones always break!). We now have a sufficient amount of brand new desktops and laptop PC's as well as some tablets (perfect for the girls to take home so they can continue studying).

The silver lining of the pandemic has been that the girls had to use computers more than before and, as a result, they now have many new skills and confidence that will serve them well in their studies, University and work in the future.

And the fact that this year 92% of the EFA girls passed their final years exam (compared to the national average of 68%) shows that with some support- and access to computers- nothing will stop these girls from succeeding in life! 

forming study groups and using laptops
forming study groups and using laptops
It's not all about work, work work!
It's not all about work, work work!
Checking the student whatsapp group to share info
Checking the student whatsapp group to share info
Online volunteer teaches English
Online volunteer teaches English

Links:

Jul 20, 2021

Update: Digital Tools for Girls' in Rural Morocco

Before Covid we had a few second-hand computers in our boarding houses. Some of them didn't work very well and there were not really enough to go round. The pandemic changed education overnight by relying on distance- learning, and EFA realised we had to improve the girls'  access to IT so they could keep learning no matter what.

For girls from the remote High Atlas region, it's very rare to have a computer at home. If there are some smart phones, then the issue is affordability of internet connection. This prompted us to start this campaign to get more smart devices, such as phones and tablets for the girls who had exams coming up. We bought sim cards packed full of internet, so they could stay connected to their teachers and fellow students during the lock down. As a result, we had a 72% pass rate for the final year exams. The girls said they would not even have had the confidence to do the exams if it wasn't for the devices.

The last 6 months of the project we have focussed less on home-devices and more on upgrading our computers in the houses. Thanks to this project and some additional funding, we have now equipped all the houses with good computers, up-to-date software licences and additional internet routers. The girls use computers so much more since the first lock-down and we are happy about this, as digital skills are essential for University studies and future employment.

Even though the lockdown didn’t happen this school year, lesson time was reduced by 50% due to physical distancing guidelines. The girls at EFA, however, were able to keep up to date due to the computers and devices. They did their research online, used devises when back in their villages and made the most of  online e-learning programmes to supplement lost lessons. We also managed to shift our International Volunteer programme online so the girls could get the necessary help with English and French!

As a result, the girls achieved an incredible 92% pass for the final year exams last month! 

These devices have been a life-line, during what has been described as 'the biggest disruption to education ever.' [Malala Fund]. The silver lining is that the EFA girls now have much better access to computers and better skills, despite the digital divide they face in their own families and villages.

A huge thank you for your support and vision which makes these girls' future better and stronger!

Smartphones are a life-line during Covid
Smartphones are a life-line during Covid
A quiet spot on the roof-top to study
A quiet spot on the roof-top to study
First batch of tablets are delivered for revision!
First batch of tablets are delivered for revision!
Online volunteering is a success
Online volunteering is a success
Online study groups
Online study groups
Jul 9, 2021

Light at the end of the tunnel!

30 girls pass the BAC, despite a challenging year!
30 girls pass the BAC, despite a challenging year!

It feels very fitting to send this report at the same time as the end of the school year. We can report that the year has gone so well, thanks to your support and the amazing strength of the EFA house mothers and girls, despite a challenging year. 

EXAM RESULTS
Even with 50% reduced lesson time this year, the girls have not let this get them down! We had a 82% pass for the Baccalaureat (BAC) last month. Six are retaking the exams this week and we are hopefully there will be more passes! 

It's amazing to have such a high pass rate, above the national average of 69%. This shows how important the EFA learning environment is, including the community of support and resources which help the girls keep up with their studies and stay motivated.

We are so proud of the girls for all their hard work and grateful to the house mothers for managing the new Covid guidelines and supporting the girls through their stresses and worries. It was also heart-warming to see local teachers and former EFA students come to give extra lessons to prepare the girls for their exams- like Salma who left EFA last year and is now studying Business Management at SIST in Casablanca.

 

PROJECT SOLIDARITY

The girls have also been busy helping others! The final year students started the 'Solidarity Project'. This project is entirely their own initiative and involves them collecting clothes and food donations and distributing them to the neighbouring villages in the remote High Atlas.

As well as distributing food, shoes and clothes, they do activities with the children, like face-painting and games. What is particularly inspiring is that they use this opportunity to speak to the communities about the importance of educating girls and share their experience of this. We are really impressed with their passion and how they have organised this project so creatively!

                    "Doing activities in the villages was the perfect day of my life."

 

LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL

It is great to see how much the girls have continued to thrive this year and succeed with their studies. And for some light relief, the girls even had an online yoga, baking and Bhangra dance to keep their spirits up. See their dance routine in the video below and the full class with Gurdeep Pandher. 

 

THANK YOU

Your donations- whether one-off or monthly, large or small- contribute to all of this good news. Thanks to you, girls from remote villages can be educated, live their potential and share that with the next generation of girls in this region. 

Thank you! 

Project Solidarity!
Project Solidarity!
Study groups in preparation for the BAC
Study groups in preparation for the BAC
Project Solidarity- activities with the children
Project Solidarity- activities with the children
Salma (middle pink) comes back to help the girls
Salma (middle pink) comes back to help the girls
Computers  help the girls revise for exams
Computers help the girls revise for exams
Exam support from local teacher
Exam support from local teacher

Links:

 
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