Student-run website prepares Moroccans for baccalaureate exams
By Sarah Touahri for Magharebia in Rabat – 23/04/09
Young Moroccans preparing to take the baccalaureate exams now have an opportunity to review online. Three recent graduates launched a new website, 9rayti.com, in September 2008 to provide study materials and other resources to secondary school students.
The site offers information in different areas of study, and allows readers to share strategies and problems on various forums. Students can also make suggestions regarding exercises and course books, or even produce their own content. Advice is also given on stress management and other topics useful to students.
Adam Bouhadma came up with the idea for the website. A first-year engineering student at the Agadir National School of Applied Science, Bouhadma told Magharebia there is also high demand for career guidance among pupils. "There's a real need in this area. We try to cater to their needs based on their individual circumstances," he said.
"There are websites for teachers," Adam continued, "but few teachers have much Internet experience or understand the real difficulties faced by pupils. We want to help students and at the same time gain more experience ourselves."
Readership of the website has grown from 100 per day to more than 3,000.
The three IT-savvy youngsters have extended their network across Morocco to cities including Rabat and Casablanca. Adam said people are taking their initiative seriously, even though his student team is often pressed for time. "We try to make sacrifices and balance our priorities. If we were making money, we'd have been able to recruit full-time staff. We hope to get beyond the amateur stage."
In addition to the services provided online, the website is beginning to offer other activities, such as open days at schools and student conferences.
Teachers have also been invited to play a role. Few have become involved so far, which the website's creators believe is due to a lack of IT experience.
The 9rayti.com managers say their website is not a substitute for additional classes, since face-to-face contact is essential. Adam said this could eventually be achieved online through videoconferencing.
The team also hopes to promote the creation of academic clubs, to "encourage pupils and students to be more active in schools while also providing extracurricular activities to develop their character and aid their integration into society".
Aicha Kebbour, a pupil at a secondary school, told Magharebia that she discovered the website just a few days ago and thinks that it addresses several issues faced by those preparing for the baccalaureate.
"I found a lot of advice from people who are barely older than we are," she said. "Their experience is very valuable, especially with regard to post-school choices."
Another student, Yassine Maarifi, said the site has helped him deal with stress and other problems. "When I find practical advice being shared among secondary-school pupils across Morocco, it reassures me. The exercises on the website are a new feature for us pupils. I think you can solve any problem if you persevere," he said.
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