BMCE Bank Foundation is committed to building and equipping 30 preschools in rural areas over a period of three years in the city of Mohammedia. In addition, the Foundation also plans to build 15 preschools in the outskirts of Casablanca ('Grand Casablanca'), as well as 10 preschools in the Northern cities of Nador and Al Hoceima in 2008.
The issues addressed are illiteracy; no access for children to school facilities and essential basic services locally (water, sanitation, electricity, education, health care); non-attendance of schools (particularly by girls); low retention rates; lack of quality teaching and training; and lack of resources including equipment and books.
The rural community schools program has in fact been an ongoing program since 2000. Indeed, in a context of crisis of the Moroccan Education System, the Government elaborated a National Charter for Education, a call for action. BMCE Bank Foundation offered an operational response to the Charter's orientations - concrete action through the 1001 School program - and implemented a Public-Private partnership to mobilize resources for education, with the Ministry of Education as the principal strategic partner.
Based on its experience to date and an in-depth needs assessment within the local communities, BMCE Bank Foundation undertook to expand the current scope of its action and of the '1001 Schools' Program by building preschools inside existing public schools, using the Foundation's recognized methods and pedagogical tools.
BMCE Bank Foundation has already built and inaugurated 10 of the 30 schools in 2007 in Mohammedia. The Management and execution is done in partnership with the various actors, with leadership by the Foundation staff who have dedicated their time and resources to each aspect of the project, from construction, to pedagogy, training, recruitment etc.