On Wednesday, October 15th, we inaugurated the new mud-built school in the village of Aknaibich near Agadir in Morocco!

After six months of work, the young pupils aged 3 to 6 were able to take possession of their new classroom with their teacher. This project was realised with the support of the United Carbon Action programme and the architects Dorian Vauzelle from the Mamoth collective, Nicolas Coeckelberghs from the BC Studies association and Franck Stabel who monitored the site.

The construction has favoured the use of natural materials available locally and minimally processed to limit the environmental impact of the building: river pebbles, mud, straw, wood and reeds. The architects drew their inspiration from the traditional Moroccan skills of the mud and adobe (mud brick, water and straw, moulded and dried in the sun) and adding modern passive heating and energy efficiency techniques.

The result is a comfortable class in any season, which keeps the heat during winter and stays cool during summer. The building also has seismic properties, essential in this high-risk area!

[caption id="attachment_12895" align="alignleft" width="207"]Elèves en classe dans l'école maternelle bioclimatique d’Aknaibich, au Maroc © Kristel Pelliet Pupils in the classroom of the mud school of Aknaibich, in Morocco © Kristel Pelliet[/caption]

This project will now allow the children of the village to attend school in an early age because until now, they started school only at 6 (mandatory legal age in Morocco). They will thus be better prepared for the challenges that await them with the learning of 3 languages in 3 different alphabets – their native tongue, Berber, and 2 new languages: Arabic and French. Prepared much younger to these challenges, these rural children will have less tendency to leave school before going to secondary school in the city.

Another good news for the improvement of the conditions of children’s education: that same day, we inaugurated a minibus funded by the Delegation of the Ministry of Education and the local community. The school bus will bring the pupils to the secondary school located in the nearby town of Tamayt. A huge step for the girls especially because their parents did not want to let them walk along the highway.

[caption id="attachment_12877" align="alignright" width="119"]Cour et façade Nord de l'école maternelle bioclimatique d’Aknaibich, au Maroc © Kristel Pelliet North Face of the school : French doors opening onto a shaded courtyard © Kristel Pelliet[/caption]  

The site was also an opportunity to showcase local artisans with mud construction skills. These mâalems were able to transmit their knowledge to young apprentices and were invited to Casablanca to perform an exhibition to some Moroccan and foreign architects.

This project initiated the synergy of all local stakeholders, for the provision of land (by the delegation of the Ministry of National Education), the purchase of furniture and equipment for the pupils (by the municipality) and logistical support provided by the Tamount association. In the village of Aknaibich, young people also have joined forces to welcome architects on site, and parents have organized themselves for the future maintenance of the building.

And the story does not stop there! The GoodPlanet Foundation will accompany the school for the next 2 years with the establishment of an environment club (with the AE- SVT Association), an organic garden (with MCA association) and an exchange programme with young French pupils (with the School of philanthropy). The community and local authorities will also take action to complete the enclosure wall of the primary school which is not yet done. They are exploring the possibility of new construction of mud-built schools in the area.

Find out more about the project >