Mohammed VI International Academy of Civil Aviation (AIAC) in Morocco has implemented a distance education system to ensure educational continuity by providing its students with high quality digital and audiovisual resources to continue studying from home.
Acting fast, without compromises on quality
When the COVID-19 crisis threatened to hit Morocco, the team around Director Abdellah Menou did not waste any second. Structures, roles, syllabus and education supply were rapidly moved into a distance learning frameset. The team made sure that the high standards of the academy are kept, through close guidance and personal contact with each student.
Virtual classes at AIAC began on March 15, 2020, coordinated and supplied through an online platform implemented by AIAC lecturers. Several online sessions take place concurrently and in real time in virtual classes.
A considerable effort has been made by the permanent and part-time teachers excelling during these difficult times.
The management of the planning and follow-up of the sessions, as well as the objectives of achieving the schedules have been fully met.
Not just a last minute decision but the fruits of 20 years of forward thinking
The new king Mohammed VI has been 2 years on the throne and was ramping up a previously unseen program of reforms and restructuration.
The academy appeared like a lighthouse, giving guidance for that goal.
I was invited by the board of directors of the university, and together with the German Ministry of Cooperation, later also Deutsche Flugsicherung DFS and several German companies and research institutes, we started implementing (web-based) simulation and blended learning for the Academy's students.
In times, where the teachers in Germany were still pretty suspicious about that "new" technology, AIAC saw the opportunities and implemented, optimized and pushed forward.
During the last 20 years, the academy became a qualification hub for ATC in the whole Francophonie, sharing concepts, success and visions with all surrounding countries.
They became on of the first 2 ICAO TrainAir Plus Partners of Excellence on the African Continent - until today a very limited and handpicked group of competence centers by ICAO
AIAC became a backbone of Morocco's ambitious growth program, which was building heavily on the evolution of the Moroccan air traffic.
Since the early 2000s, in and outbound air traffic kept on multiplying, and the AIAC never ran short in qualifying and providing highly skilled ATCOs and ATSEPs.
Distance learning and virtual classes - they know how to do it
Infrastructure, qualification but also the high level and motivation of the students made this recent step possible. Actually it was in line with their spirit and just one step more along their path.
Practical exercises will not be replaced. But during the COVID-19 period, the media-mix of virtual classes, e-learning and home studies (guided and tracked through a learning management system) make sure that qualification reaches new hights.
Bravo to the team. Thumbs up to the students.