Training leaders of tomorrow

Organiser: The Gambia Students' Association in Morocco (GASAM)

Sponsor: Heeno International

Objective:  to introduce students to essential maths concepts and notions necessary for success at university level

Beneficiaries: 26 new Gambian students

Tutor: Mr. Alagie F. Nget

Duration: 1 month (August 2017), 4 classes per week (2 hrs)

Venue: Moulay Ismail University Hostel, Rabat, Morocco

The Gambia Students' Association in Morocco would like to once again extend its sincerest gratitude towards Heeno International, which has consistently provided financial assistance toward's GASAM's educational programs, for sponsoring this year's Maths Classes.

It is no secret that students from Anglophone countries, The Gambia included, often find it difficult to adjust to the tough mathematics courses embedded in the Moroccan curriculum. As a result, for the past four years maths classes have been organised by GASAM and supported by Heeno International for new students after completion of their French Year, thereby facilitating their integration into the Moroccan university system.

The objective of the Maths Classes was to equip Gambian students, after completing their preparatory French classes, with essential mathematics notions consistent with university standard mathematics in the French system.  The aim was to bridge the gap between the basic mathematics taught in the Gambian educational system and considerably higher level of mathematics taught in Moroccan schools which follow the French system of education.

Employing the services of a bilingual maths tutor, a total of 26 new students benefited from the Maths classes for a period of one month (August 2017) at the Moulay Ismail University Hostel in Rabat.

Four classes, each lasting at least two hours, were organised per week. During this period, students became familiar with pre-calculus and calculus as well as other necessary maths topics. Students were also able to learn mathematics terminology in French, which will help them to follow lectures more easily at university. Students were encouraged to participate in class, and benefited from the bilingual abilities of the tutor to better understand lessons.

At the end of the classes and a few months into their various university courses ranging from economics to engineering, students were asked to give feedback on how useful the maths classes were in helping to overcome challenges and adapt to their new courses:

From the positive feedback we received from the students we can conclude that the Maths Classes achieved the objectives that were set out by GASAM and that it was, on the whole, a success. Suggestions were also made by students to increase the duration of the classes (i.e more than one month) and to extend the classes to other maths-related subjects such as accounting. The 26 students who benefitted from the classes have now been oriented towards different courses throughout the Kingdom of Morocco, getting ready to become leaders of tomorrow.

2016 GASAM Preparatory Classes

2016 Gassam Prepatory Classes
For the fourth consecutive year, the Gambia Students' Association in Morocco (GASAM) has organized summer mathematics classes for the benefit of its newest members who completed the French Language studies and were waiting to commence their various courses in the kingdom. The classes took place from the 1st of August to the 6th of September. The aim was to teach, familiarize and strengthen their understanding of one of the most challenging courses at the university level in Morocco. The classes were again sponsored by Heeno International.

According to Ebrima Banda, President of GASAM , "Generally, the mathematics classes were a success. A good number of the students were very serious with it and have greatly benefited from it. They have now started their various courses in different towns of the kingdom."

2016 Gassam Prepatory Classes
The mathematics classes have started from Monday 1ST August 2016 to Tuesday 6th of September. Four days per week; Mondays through Thursdays for a 2h: 30 mins per class. Several topics done at the university level were treated through the period by a lecturer who has already successfully passed through the system. Who has a deep understanding of both Gambian and Moroccan systems, the similarities and the differences and gave them an insight of what they have not seen yet.

Maths Preparatory Course (GASAM)

42 Gambian students study at various universities and other institutions of higher education in Morocco. One of the biggest problems new students have is to cope the high level of mathematics in Moroccan educational institutions. HI, cooperation with the Gambian Students' Associations in Morocco (GASAM ) organized an intensive maths course for 15 new students in August 2013 in order to prepare them for the academic year ahead, which begins in September .

A Royal Endowment in the Atlas

The Chairman of HI made a somewhat surprising discovery on September 16th, 2013, up in the Atlas Mountains, in a region of valleys, forests, lakes and other natural and man-made places of interest. He went to a small town of about 13,000 people, called Ifrane, which has a palace of the King of Morocco and another one under construction for the Emir of Qatar. It has a ski resort called Michlifen Ski Resort. It is only 61 km from the ancient city of Fes, which has been described in The Rough Guide to Morocco as "perhaps the most beautiful of all Arab cities' p.6). Fes is only about 22 km from the Thermal Baths of Moulay Yacoub (, a special place described by one visitor as "more than gold!"

Ifrane is also the location of an academic institution called Akhawayn University. The Chairman met Dr Driss Ouaouicha, the President, and discussed the opportunities for developing academic relations in Africa and contributing to the training of African business persons and diplomats.

In 1995 His Majesty King Hassan II and Crown Prince Abdallah bin Abdel-Aziz of Saudi Arabia inaugurated Al Akhawayn ('the Two Brothers' in Arabic) University. As reported in the school catalogue, AUI (for short) 'redefines the classic American liberal arts educational experience on an architecturally stunning modern campus amidst the beauty of Morocco's Middle Atlas Mountains.'

It boasts:
  • A uniquely international common core program for all undergraduate students, providing the basis for a well-rounded global education. It has a 40 percent international faculty, 10 percent international students and over 90 active international agreements forresearch and education on five continents; • Rich academics, in English, encouraging choice and experimentation, in all schools and programs of study;• A comfortable, safe, exciting residential student life on campus, featuring hundreds of University student-run activities, with over 96 percent of undergraduates living on campus with roommates from around Morocco and the four corners of the world; and • The peace and pleasures of Ifrane, a center for outdoor exploration of mountains, streams, lakes, and more, with many entertainment options and easy access to major cities such as Rabat, Casablanca, Fez, Meknes, and more.