Adnane fosters a creative mindset and practice in schools focused on student-led innovation. He has developed a methodology and program to cultivate collaborative innovation by students within their schools. He engages all school stakeholders to make sure the methodology has a lasting impact on the entire school. And he embeds his initiative in the local community by using NGOs, businesses, and other community stakeholders to implement the initiative in collaboration with schools, a strategy that also serves to make the methodology quickly scalable.
Adnane’s methodology is aimed at enabling students to develop innovations for their schools through a 9-month program corresponding with the school year. He has developed an easily replicable three-module training program through which the students explore community, business, and personal development. In the community development module, they learn to do interviews and needs assessments and to understand the relationships between different challenges in the community. In the business development module, they create prototypes of solutions and then run the project they develop. In the personal development module, they develop their interpersonal skills and self-awareness, learning to understand themselves and their environment, to reflect on their purpose in life, and to design their own future. Everything in the program is geared at developing seven skills: Critical thinking, accessing and analyzing information, agility and adaptability, effective communication, leading by influence, curiosity and imagination, and initiative and entrepreneurship.
At the start of each 9-month program in a given school, 10 students are identified to be the core team. These 10 students are chosen based on the seven skills rather than on class rank and grades. They are responsible for recruiting 100 students (each student recruits 10 other students), who together lead the process of identification of problems in their schools and coming up with solutions with a concrete budgeting and time plan. To celebrate the start of the Tamkeen program in each school, an opening mini-conference is organized where parents, school administration, teachers and students are collected together to show the goals of the program and the change that this program is meant to realize. Before coming up with those solutions and even identifying problems, the 100 students participate in a three-module program that engage students in personal, business and community development. Each module develops specific skills in those students. The personal development module develops critical thinking abilities, accessing and analyzing information to make student better capable of doing research and synthesizing the right information to put their ideas into action, and curiosity and imagination through creativity-based exercises that trigger how students explore new avenues of thinking while approaching a problem. The business development module nurtures the abilities of the students to take initiatives and teaches them the qualities that an entrepreneur should have (such as learning how to seize opportunity, identify gaps, mobilize resources, and assess the outcome to scale work). The community development module develops agility and adaptability to be able to effectively deal with the different challenges that the community throws at its members, effective communication so that students learn how to communicate their ideas and listen to feedback, leading by influence in order to underscore the importance of empathy-based leadership that enables the students to be sensitive towards their team and community members, as well as the problems that they encounter based on their everyday experience. After engaging those modules, students then focus on identifying problems that they see from their perspective and this is an important milestone where students start to develop their own voice. The students start to develop solutions in teams that are led by the selected 10 students in the very beginning of the process. After coming up with prototypes, students present their ideas and solutions to the teachers seeking mentorship, guidance and support. Those teachers are engaged in the three-module training as well to be able to help their students and mentor their endeavors. Each Sunday, teachers and students convene so that students showcase their work and teachers offer their support.
Through the program, students have created innovations such as a school shower system where showers are provided with water that is recycled and delivered using solar energy powered turbines. That project increased the benchmark of hygiene in the whole school while minimizing the costs of sustaining such a system in the long term. Other students have built sustainable libraries using shipping containers. Libraries are now built using non-cement materials and are also movable, cutting down financial and environmental costs while replacing or renovating the whole library. In another school, where there were communication problems between the student body and the administration, students created an administration facility acting as a mini government to liaise between the students and the school administration. In addition and at a girls’ school, students partnered with Microsoft to design a revenue generating coding academy that offer paid training in order to develop the programming skills of students who are interested.
Adnane’s primary aim is not the projects themselves but to create lasting change in the schools. Students move on but teachers and administrators remain. This is why Adnane mobilizes the other stakeholders inside the schools to create an enabling environment for students’ success in providing solutions to their schools problems, and to foster sustainable change in mindset and practice across the entire school. In addition to the 10 selected students, Tamkeen selects a lead teacher in each school to form an association of 10 teachers. That association is responsible for enriching the classroom environment and helping students in implementing their projects. To do so, teachers go through the same three-module program as the students and receive an intensive training in how to integrate creative and critical thinking in the curriculum. The teachers also provide technical mentorship for the students while they’re implementing their projects.
The school administration provides support to the students by extending the school working hours and providing the necessary human resources to help students undertake their projects. Tamkeen also engages parents by inviting them to the opening conference and to some of the trainings. Additionally, parent associations in the school play a key role as they convene with the school administration to listen to the impact that Tamkeen’s methodology had on their children. The parents are then encouraged to contribute their insights (behavioral and thought patterns) about their children that help the school administration better house innovations in schools.. Parents’ consent on their children’s projects (as those projects demand student to stay after school for long hours) is a key element in enabling the student to lobby the school administration for granting them the necessary support (such as permission for staying after school, using the school resources like libraries and class room for example, and utilizing human resources).
Adnane builds a network of local NGOs to administer the whole process of implementation of Tamkeen’s methodology in schools in their communities. He first identifies the local NGOs based on credibility and trust. Adnane gives a version of the three-module training to the NGO staff, helping turn them into more innovative organizations. Personnel learn to understand the essential role of social entrepreneurship in solving societal problems in Morocco and how to deliver this message to others. The involved NGOs are also trained on handling the operations of implementing Tamkeen’s methodology in schools and on raising funds to finance those operations. Upon the completion of that process, NGOs are licensed to use Tamkeen’s methodology to work in schools. Each NGO can manage a total of 15 schools. The NGOs seek the permit from the government to be able to implement Tamkeen’s program in the schools and then recruit the 10 lead students’ school and one teacher in each school and manage the implementation. Tamkeen monitors the work to ensure quality control, support implementation, and address any problems. In two of the eight cities where Tamkeen operates, the managing NGOs are successfully running the program with very little support from Tamkeen. They are also beginning to innovate other initiatives, such as one NGO that is now working on career guidance in schools as well. After establishing its connection with NGOs in the city that Adnane is aiming to target its schools, Adnane organizes a large conference inviting all participating NGOs, schools, the sponsoring CSR initiatives as well as Ministry of Education representatives to celebrate the launch of Tamkeen in that city, underscoring the impact that this intiative is meant to have on the minds and personalities of city’s school students.
Adnane’s unique strategy ensures sustainable impact as it empowers actors, connects players and shifts mindsets across schools, government (Ministry of Education), private sector (CSR initiatives that offers part of the finances that are required to channel Tamkeen’s methodology into action), and social sector (CSOs and NGOs). Since launch of Tamkeen Initiative in early 2013, 10 local businesses (such as Djembe Communication, IFIAG, Azure System, and Maymouna) have been involved in Tamkeen Initiative and 20 NGOs (such as Junior Chamber International Casa Impact, Winds of Change, JCI Rabat, Rissala Association, Association Vents Changements, and the Anoual Association) have been trained and licensed by Tamkeen. Through their engagement with the Tamkeen Initiative. These organizations lead then the delivery and application of Adnane’s programs and build the network in order to scale much faster throughout the public schools in Morocco.
Tamkeen is currently in 60 schools in 8 cities across Morocco, through the help of about 16 NGOs. Over 1000 students and 60 teachers have been involved in creating over 50 projects. Adnane is covering 60-70% of his finances through fees paid by NGOs and others for the training. An impact study showed that parents realized that it is possible to gain new skills and that these soft skills are important to success (communication, teamwork, problem solving skills, critical thinking, organizational management, presentation skills and leadership). The study also shows that parents believe that new ways of thinking, nurtured by Tamkeen’s methodology, are extremely beneficial, life-altering, complete, and sustained. Parents as well Have discovered that despite the current Moroccan education system there is room for innovation and the development of well-rounded skills to solve societal problems. Parents now well-recognize that the skills that Tamkeen’s methodology develops in their children are lacking in the current education system and that it is critical to develop those skills to solve societal problems. The study also shows that parents have realized that their children have started to develop a sense of concern for societal challenges and have been empowered to act on them realistically. He is also seeing qualitative changes in schools where the program is successful, including better teacher-student relationships, evidenced in part by teachers coming in on weekends to mentor students in their projects. Some teachers are also successfully transforming their own teaching styles to use much more creative and engaging teaching techniques.
Adnane is now working with the Ministry of Education to pilot the implementation of his initiative across an entire school, with all students and teachers receiving the training, rather than just a select group. Ultimately, he hopes this will be the beginning of a broader policy change to incorporate his program to the national education curriculum. Channeling that policy into action, Adnane aspires to impact 2000 schools, 200k students, and 20k teachers by 2020. He is also building a model for teacher academies to train teachers in Tamkeen’s methodology to better be able to provide a supply of talent to schools. In addition, he is currently adapting the methodology for use in primary and middle schools and assessing the potential of implementing his idea in Algeria and Tunisia, expanding the impact of his initiative over the whole Maghreb region.