May 12, 2010
COCAGNE (CNB) - The entrepreneurial community schools (ECS) concept in New Brunswick's francophone schools could be introduced to Morocco by September 2011.
Education Minister Roland Haché and Abdelkamel Lahlou, founder and chief executive officer of the Complexe scolaire le Cèdre in Morocco, signed a formal intent to enter into an agreement today at the Blanche-Bourgeois entrepreneurial community school in Cocagne.
After study and final approval by the education departments concerned, the agreement could lead to an ECS project between Morocco and Canada. This would involve the awarding of a recognized high school diploma, so that young Moroccans attending these ECSs would receive a diploma recognized by both the New Brunswick Department of Education and the Moroccan Ministry of National Education.
"Our education system in New Brunswick is attracting the attention of a growing number of countries in the world owing to its innovation and excellence," said Haché. "Now our Acadian and francophone schools are distinguishing themselves for their initiative and creativity.
"A school like Blanche-Bourgeois ESC encourages our young Acadians and francophones to be autonomous, resourceful, enterprising, and entrepreneurial in their professional lives and involved in their community, and that is the model that has attracted attention in Morocco," he said. "It provides an ideal opportunity to work on a project that will enable students, teachers, and principals in New Brunswick and Morocco to take part in cultural and educational exchanges that are valuable learning experiences."
The signing of this formal intent will enable Lahlou, an educator and businessman, to complete the process with the Moroccan Ministry of National Education and to negotiate a more specific partnership agreement in order to get the final approval of the New Brunswick Department of Education.
Lahlou's objective is to develop Moroccan/Canadian ECSs recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) that will offer a dual diploma, in several large Moroccan cities, such as Casablanca, Rabat, Marrakech, Fes, Tanger and Agadir.
"The friendship between our peoples is, for me, the most important element of this big project of significance to all youth from the Moroccan, Acadian, and Canadian cultures" said Lahlou. "Your country is recognized worldwide for having one of the best quality education systems. The Entrepreneurial Community Schools recognized by UNESCO are solid evidence of that."
Under an agreement signed by UNESCO and the Department of Education on June 3, 2009, New Brunswick can share its expertise with countries like Morocco in setting up entrepreneurial community schools. UNESCO has a network of associated schools around the world and more than 197 national commissions located in as many countries.
MEDIA CONTACT: Johanne Le Blanc, communications, Department of Education, 506-453-3085.