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ANEER: An innovative community-based preschool model project of Zakoura Foundation
In Morocco, 500.000 children are excluded from preschool every year. Only 12% of children who have access to preschool benefit from the modern preschool and 80% of preschool institutions provide traditionnal education. In rural areas, only 35% of children and 25% of girls have access to preschool.
The program ANEER was launched by Zakoura Foundation in 2015, in partnership with the Moroccan Ministry of Education and UNICEF. Zakoura Foundation's goal was to overcome the lack of preschool by implementing schools for children aged 4 to 6 in rural areas. ANEER is distinctive within Morocco and the broader MENA region, where there are relatively few initiatives focused on providing early years education in rural regions.
ANEER permitted the implementation of 190 preschools in 8 moroccan regions and the scholarization of 11542 children.
ANEER: an innovative community-based preschool model : The model develops a holistic approach that engages every – direct and indirect – stakeholder in Early Childhood Education (ECE) in a single community in order to achieve a better and higher commitment. Community-based preschools of Zakoura Foundation allow classroom openness on their environment and raise awarness of parents and broader community to create the best conditions for ECE.
The Foundation’s community-based preschools embrace an integrated vision that targets children, mothers and the community. The model is founded on the best international practices concerning ECE.
A model based on Parental Education : Mothers benefit from training sessions focused on child development, stimulation techniques, hygiene rules in order to allow them to pursue activities and learning plays with their children at home. It is a participatory approach that makes mothers more sensitive to their children schooling and what it implies from them in terms of guidance throughout the years. To ensure their support, fathers benefit from four awareness sessions.
A model sustained by local communities : Children’ development is conditionned by the quality of the context they grow in. The awareness campaigns Zakoura Foundation launches in the broad community aim at sensitizing people to the stakes of ECE, the importance of education and the means necessary to complete the schooling years. The capacity-building program for local associations is designed to make the members work out collectively solutions for preschool classes sustainability in each Douar.
ANEER itself is a model sustained by local communities. Zakoura Foundation implements and runs preschools during two years, and then nominate a local hero who will be trained to run them in partnership with the local community.
ANEER's main objectives : The main objectives are :
- to impart preschool skills to children,
- to ensure registration in primary school ;
- to improve basic skills acquisition rates in early years of primary school ;
- to improve access to quality education for most vulnerable rural children ;
- to reduce school drop-out ;
- to foster a sustainable development and active interactions between parents, communities and children.
These objectives are shared by educators and parents. Parents are sensitized to follow-up the development of their children according to the milestones and objectives that are explained to them. The strong collaboration between parents and educators help adjust the programs when necessary and set an early intervention for children with specific needs.