Virtual Learning During Pandemic Increases Access to Education in Morocco
USAID Distance Education Activities Prepared Morocco For Coronavirus Disruption
Over 1.5 billion children and youth around the world have been affected by school closures due to COVID-19. In response, some countries' educational institutions have turned to virtual learning as a resource to continue their citizens’ academic education. Morocco was prepared to do so, in part thanks to two USAID-funded projects. Advancing Learning and Employability for a Better Future (ALEF), 2004-2009 and Improving Training for Quality Advancement in National Education (ITQANE), 2009-2014 were two USAID projects that worked to design digital learning courses with Morocco’s National Center for Pedagogic Innovation and Experimentation at the Ministry of National Education.
Through the ITQANE program’s on-site training sessions and web-based team interactions, Morocco’s Ministry of Education (MOE) gained twenty-six distance learning education experts to lead the design of future e-learning products. These experts and other resources provided by USAID prepared the Ministry to develop its online learning platform and courses in record time, making Morocco a leader in the Middle East by shifting quickly to online learning in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the project started, over one million students have accessed the learning platform as well as the national broadcasts on television, allowing millions of Morrocans to have access to distance learning.
USAID continues investing in e-learning and is working hand-in-hand with Morocco’s MOE to build their capacity to support teachers by developing an online program for their professional development under its current Reading for Success National Program for Reading. E-learning is also a component of the new USAID-funded Higher Education Partnership for Morocco (HEP-M) activity, which plans to develop blended learning solutions for teacher training.