School near Ait Hamad
Since a number of years, schools are build in rural and remote areas, to give primary education to all children of Morocco. Morocco is proud of its schools. All schools are painted in bright colours, so that they stand out in the landscape and can be seen from far distance.
There is only one classroom in this school. In the morning the school is for the small children, the bigger children go to school in the afternoon. Here, the bigger children are waiting for the school to start. The smaller children are still inside.
At the age of 12, children have to leave the primary school. Secondary schools are only available in larger villages and cities and therefore out of reach for most of the girls. Their parents cannot afford to pay for lodging or transport or they don’t entrust their daughters to be away from home. As a consequence, most girls in the High Atlas leave school at 12 and get married the age of 16. They continue to live the traditional lives of their parents and stay in the remote villages.
Girls walking home from school
Girls walking home from school on a cold day in spring.
The school is build in between a number of villages. Some children have to walk more than one hour. Since there is no traffic, even the smallest children walk to school alone.
In winter, it sometimes isn't possible to reach school. Snow or landslides as a consequence of havey rain fall make it dangerous or impossible to walk the way to school.
At home, Lakbira (left), Naima (middle) and Yassine (right) are waiting for the small children to come home from school.
Naima is 15 years old, and does't go to school since she was 12. She wants to be an engineer, but there is no money. Her mother waits to marry Naima off. She also wants Naima to go to school ans she hopes a miracle will happen. But as Naima gets older, her chances decline.
photography, marijke stroucken
design, anton spruit