Although the Moroccan government spends a quarter of its budget on education, outcomes remain poor. Approximately 390,000 students under the age of fifteen drop out of school every year; and of all the students who start school, 87% will never enroll in college. Facilities, classrooms and equipment in most of Morocco’s 9,000 public schools are in need of repair, while curriculum materials and pedagogical styles are outdated. Moreover, school administration systems are unable to mobilize students and members of the community to tackle the root causes of poor school performance. As an answer to these challenges, the former banker Mhammed Abbad Andaloussi created Al Jisr (The Bridge) project in order to create true public-private partnerships in the education sector. Through regular marketplace exhibitions, Moroccan companies can join an adopt-a-school program. Company executives also have the opportunity to join forces with parents, students and teachers on the school’s management, to conduct a diagnosis of a school’s weaknesses, develop an annual action plan to improve performance, and monitor progress.
Each company provides an annual budget to carry out the activities prioritized, with funds matched by the Moroccan Ministry of Education. Both the government and these companies provide support and management expertise to dramatically improve school performance. Al Jisr provides diagnostic materials and guides, and shares best practices with committees to improve outcomes. Al Jisr also launched a five-year project called Project Green Chip to train secondary school dropouts in the refurbishing of donated computers. Its efforts have made a positive impact on the quality of education and school facilities for 200,000 students in 400 schools so far.