By Clara McLinden
Since mid-March 2020, people in Morocco have been operating under strict rules of confinement in order to limit the spread of COVID-19. Schools and non-essential businesses are expected to remain closed at least until the end of May.
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is currently implementing two partnership projects in the technical and vocational education and training (TVET) sector in Morocco: ACCES, a specialized truck and bus driver training programme, and H2O Maghreb, a water and wastewater management training programme. With all students, trainers and staff forced to stay at home, UNIDO has been working closely with its partners to explore digital methods to continue the training programmes.
Before the pandemic hit, ACCES was set to begin an inaugural training cycle for the truck driver training programme. Once the COVID-19 measures came into effect, the team realized that the only chance for the programme to begin was to adapt - and quickly. From the way they evaluated the candidates, to how they delivered the training: everything had to be re-imagined for distance learning.
During the pre-selection process, in addition to the standard technical requirements for the training, the team looked for candidates who expressed a motivation to begin their studies from home and a commitment to complete this pre-training phase, as well as the practical training component once the school opens again. The ACCES team launched a remote-based, pre-training programme on a sector-specific e-learning platform for the 16 successful candidates and four trainers.