Editorial | Republic Underground
April 29, 2021
Education, Morocco, a discourse from the panel
Nancy Huff is the founder of Teach the Children International, and a contributor to the International Policy Digest. She appeared as a recent guest of our U.S.-Morocco collaboration panel, and shared her thoughts regarding taking education forward.
“I would like to ask you, Nancy, about your NGO,” asked Tsukerman, asking Huff to detail the challenges to education for those communities impacted by Polisario. She asked what role the U.S. could play in addressing these challenges.
Tsukerman asked Huff her insights regarding youth and people who are coming out of the Polisario camps and out from under the influence of Polisario training.
Huff spoke from her experience as an educator in these camps and emphasized the need for comprehensive education programs. She lauded the Kingdom for its integration of Moroccan Jewish education noting that this program should be “expanded.”
“I think that program should probably be expanded and more programs like that should be available,” she said.
She then noted that the Polisario had shut down schools in their camps and that education had not been an integral emphasis. These things, she said, needed to receive a greater emphasis due to the issues that they would present repatriating citizens from the camps into the Kingdom.
She also noted that it was important to package the education of returning residents of the camps in a way that is “enticing” to parents of the children raised in the Polisario camps so that they will be more open to enrolling their children in school and introducing them to education that is not locked into the same negative political rhetoric environment they were in before.
Education is more than simple skills learning. From the panel, discussion focused on social education as well. The citizens who lived under the Polisario camp control absorbed the toxicity of a lack of vital education, and a cycle of abuse.
Huff address that different types of education, beyond that of basic intellectual skills, would greatly benefit the education programs Morocco will develop during repatriation of its W. Sahara citizens.
See the full transcript of the Morocco discussion panel.
Civilians were victimized by Polisario leadership in a series of systemic abuses. This included sexual abuse weaponization against women worked in the camps. See Khadijatou Mahmoud’s story.
Khadijatou Mahmoud, víctima del jefe del #Polisario, ha roto su silencio. En un vídeo ha relatado su terrible experiencia.#SaharaOccident #Stop_Polisario #WesternSahara #Espana #Spain_protect_criminal #HumanRights #Metoo #womenempowerment pic.twitter.com/fzuACa289h
— For Western Sahara (@WesternSaharaQ) April 26, 2021
One of the new projects of Nancy Huff’s Teach the Children NGO is to teach about the specific issues of slavery in Africa. Better education and dialogue for people returning from the Polisario camps can limit the risk of sexual exploitation of women and young girls.
Tools for building success, Integration and Interfaith
In Morocco World News, Irina Tsukerman also broke down the ways in which social education, integration and interfaith cooperation will work to stabilize forward-looking Morocco.
Faith integration and discussion between Morocco and Israel will boost economic activity, trade, and will lay stronger groundwork for pathways to peace in the region of Morocco, stated the panel experts. See from the minutes, an address on the coming Consulate.
— Irina Tsukerman (@irinatsukerman) April 29, 2021
Developments on interfaith: Association Mimouna
Laziza Dalil, a cofounder of Association Mimouna, breaks down the background of how a Muslim university group came to found a Moroccan Jewish association for social education.
“Today’s political climate does a tremendous disservice to peaceful, law-abiding Muslims in the United States, as well as Muslims residing in other countries. Unfortunately, the Islamists who work to sow divisions between Muslim communities and non-Muslims in the West contribute to the emergence of extreme ideas and ideological threats. For that reason, the conference was a good way to bring all players together to better understand the bigger picture: There is a vibrant discussion within Muslim religious communities about various issues, as well as the direction and the future of these communities, similar to other religious communities,” wrote Tsukerman, featuring in Morocco World News.
Increased education cooperation between the U.S. and Morocco has the power to change social narratives between the U.S. public, U.S. Muslims, Morocco, and the rest of the Muslim majority world.
The U.S. has seen recent cooperations with the Morocco Ministry of Education to empower learning. ASU wrote in November that the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College would work with the Morocco Ministry of Education for the next five years:
“Over the next five years, Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College will work with Morocco’s Ministry of Education, universities within the kingdom and teacher training institutions, with the aid of experienced technical assistance and private sector agencies, to form the Higher Education Partnership–Morocco. Funding is provided by USAID,” wrote ASU. See the full story here.