Over Easter, the Geography department ventured to Morocco with 18 College pupils. We caught up with Geography Teacher, Mr Heeramun to find out what the group got up to.
“Upon arriving at Marrakech and having a delicious lunch, pupils went on a caleche (horse-drawn carriage) ride around the local area before their first visit to the famous souks. The hustle and bustle of the local markets proving to be a real eye-opener.
The next day we left Marrakech for the much more sedate Imlil. Sitting high in the Atlas Mountains, this allowed a more reflective setting to think about the various geographies surrounding us. On the journey to Imlil, we stopped by a state of the art Water Museum as well as an Education4All boarding school in Asni. This school has given girls in rural Morocco a chance to regularly attend school and tackled many of the issues affecting girls in developing regions of the World.
Our students remarked that education is something which we ‘take for granted’ whilst others ‘desperately strive for it’. The geographical themes were discussed each evening to support exam preparation whilst also challenging pupils' perceptions of Africa as a place.
After a rivers' field study day we heading back to Marrakech. Some shopped, others sat in a cafe sipping mint tea whilst others simply took in the sights of snake charmers and performing monkeys.
Overall a truly memorable experience!"
Year 6 Teacher, Mr Simpson also accompanied the group to Morocco and since returning has been inspired to launch a fundraising challenge at Ranby House.
“During our time we travelled into the High Atlas Mountains, where very few girls from the rural communities get the opportunity of continuing their education beyond primary school. Secondary schools, mostly several kilometres away in larger towns, are not accessible to them because their parents cannot afford to pay for lodgings or transport near secondary schools, or they feel that focusing on providing a secondary education for their sons is more important. In Morocco, half of women cannot read or write and in the area we visited up to 83% of women are illiterate.
We visited a girls' boarding house in the town of Asni run by the charity Education for All Morocco. We were following in the footsteps of Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, who visited a couple of weeks earlier. This organisation runs 5 boarding houses next to secondary schools where girls from mountain villages can stay during the week in a safe and well-resourced environment. The results are astonishing with more and more girls not only achieving a secondary education, but are also moving on to study at universities.
I spoke to the children in assembly about the work I saw the charity carrying out. I set the children the challenge of combining our efforts to try to raise enough money to pay for one girl's education for a year. The cost is 800 pounds. By a strange coincidence, if we were to lay 1p coins in a line for a mile, their value is £791.83. We are therefore going to attempt to create a Ranby House Coin Mile. There will be collection boxes for each house in the Main Hall where children can drop loose change (collecting 1p coins is the aim but any other coins will be gratefully received, as it will help us achieve our challenge sooner). Towards the end of the summer term each house will help lay the coins out to see if we can achieve the Ranby House Coin Mile.”
Further information about the charity can be found HERE.