Case studies Mohamed, the middle earth
Mohamed, the middle earth
Mohamed, the middle earth

Mohamed, the middle earth (6)

Motto: Go ahead despite the difficulties you can meet!

Demographic and biographical Characteristics

Mohamed was born in Italy and he is 18 years old. His parents come from Morocco and they have lived near Bologna for 20 years. Mohamed is renamed “Momo” by his friends of school. He likes studying and he dreams to go to university one day. Momo is interested in architecture and he would like to attend a high school in order to have access to university. He also likes taking pictures and he spends a lot of time to take them by his phone, because he has not a professional camera yet. He has many friends with whom he often goes out. As mother tongues he speaks Italian and Moroccan. Mohamed has two brothers and two sisters, all younger than him. He also has a passion to transform and change the motors of scooters. Years ago he created with his friend a laboratory to do it.


Educational and transitional pathways:  

Mohamed finishes the middle school at the age of 14 ages. Then he discusses with his family to go to high school because his dream is to achieve university. However the father of Mohamed has other plans for his son and he decides that Momo has to go to a vocational school for two years. Indeed in Italy it is compulsory to attend any kind of education until the age of 16 years. At this age the Italian young people can have an employment and thus Momo’s father wants that his son starts quickly working in order to help the family economically. Momo tries to speak to his parents to explain his plans but they seriously need help and financial support because Momo is the eldest son in the family and also the only available worker at this moment.

Momo decides to postpone his plan without renouncing them. He starts attending a vocational school to become an electrician and two years later he works as electrician for a local firm. Thanks to his employer Momo understands that he needs to keep studying more in order to have a better position in the firm and to earn more money. His boss realizes that Momo is really a good and responsible worker and he wants to give Momo more work and a part of his business. To do it the employer asks Momo to go ahead with the vocational school in order to improve his competence and experience. Momo’s father accepts this idea and thus Momo works during all day and every evening he goes to the vocational school. He is really stressed due to work and school and he doesn’t have time to go out with friends yet. For this reason he is really sad and frustrated. At the ages of 18 years he suggests his family another plan: Now the younger brother (Mustapha) has the age to start working and Momo is available to support him in studying and introducing Mustapha into the same enterprise where Momo is working. Momo also suggests his boss to take his brother on his place after one year of tutoring and mentoring. In this way Momo can work part-time and starts studying home in order to become graduated and then go to university. Once that the boss accepted this plan Momo proposes it to his family, which accepts it. Now Mohamed needs three years to have the school certificate before trying to go to university. Momo is really busy to work and study but now he is happy to have the chance of these both experiences because he works and earns money and at the same time he can improve his knowledge to go ahead with his life. Thanks to the work Momo understands that he would like to attend civil engineering instead of architecture.

Motivations and Strategies:

Thanks to the school experience Mohamed learnt to appreciate all things related to architecture and for this reason he dreamt to be an architect since he was a child. Mohamed felt an Italian citizen more than Morocco. For this reason he thought to go to high school and then to university as well as most Italian students thought, but Momo had to face his family before carrying out his plans. Momo also wanted to have a high education because he wanted to show that he could develop a normal life as well as Italian people.

At the end Momo accepted that his father had different ideas about life and work. For this reason he adopted different strategies in order to find a mediation between his dreams and his family’s needs and requirements. He agreed to help his family without renouncing his plans. He worked as well as his father wanted but at the same time he decided to organize everything in order to find a solution for himself. He waited for his brother until he got the age to work. In this way Mohamed had the hope to carry out his plans. He was available to cover the role of tutor and mentor for his younger brothers in order to introduce him into the firm as soon as possible. In this way Momo could keep offering an economical support to his family working part-time and also finding a job for Mustapha. It allowed Mohamed to start studying home in order to recuperate time to become graduated and go ahead with his professional education.

Ad hoc learning scenarios

For Mohamed the school experience was fundamental in order to understand what he liked to do in his life. This formal learning scenario gave Mohamed the opportunity to learn a lot and especially to be integrated as an Italian young guy as well as the other students. From this experience Mohamed realized that he could have a normal life in Italy. He also learnt to collaborate and communicate with other friends and work in team.

The family was also a learning scenario because Mohamed learnt to make a continuous mediation between his traditional Morocco family and the Italian context around. He developed relational and communicational skills and competences better than his friends. He also learnt to understand himself and respect his dreams despite his family’s pressure.

The work-environment was another learning scenario for Momo, because he did a great experience there in order to put into the practice his competences, which he learnt at the vocational school. Thanks to his experience he rose his awareness about his skills and potential competences. Learning by collaborating with his boss, Momo had to cover the role of tutor and mentor in order to support his younger brother to learn quickly a work and re-place him. In this way Momo had to get used to reflect on his situation, experiences and also limits. Momo learnt quickly to manage himself and his plans. At the same he had to learn to teach competences and knowledge to somebody else through reflecting alone on his experience.

Support Services used

Despite of his family plans, Mohamed received a strict education from his parents in order to be proud of his originality and story. For this reason Mohamed accepted to help his family but at the same time he knew very well all potential possibility for himself.

At the same time Mohamed always received good marks either in middle school or in vocational school. His teachers supported him all time by recognizing all efforts.

The employer also helped Mohamed in order to increase his self-confidence, giving him more responsibility at work and then accepting his plan, realizing that the guy was a good worker and what he suggested was reasonable for his future.

Learning type

Self-learning and self-management: Since he was a child, Mohamed had to learn to manage himself and solve a lot of problems by himself. His family is really big and his mother had not time to care about all children always. His parents needed to work all day and thus the children had to manage themselves. Since his childhood Mohamed has been developing good skills and abilities to communicate and collaborate and also to select all information he needed to live and improve his life. His adopted strategies to carry out his dreams showed how he was able to manage all his engagement in a responsible way. At the same time Mohamed didn’t lose the courage to study home and to keep going ahead on his streets.

Learning by doing: the work experience was relevant for Mohamed because he understood what meant to put into the practices knowledge and competence. Working directly with his employer Mohamed learnt quickly how and what he had to do. He also realized what meant to become a tutor and a mentor for somebody else. Thank to this experiences he found a solution for his situation.

Intergenerational learning: the relation with the employer was important because thanks to his advice Mohamed understood how to organize his following years. The employer also understood Mohamed and he didn’t stop the guy to go ahead with his projects. The work boss explained Mohamed how the vocational school was important in order to improve his position inside of the enterprise and in general into any organization or work environment.

Formal learning: Mohamed attended with success all schools and he always achieved good results. From the school experiences Mohamed got the most important skills: the method of studying. By using it Mohamed could schedule his tasks, organizing very well every moment to work and study at the same time.

Information and Communication Technologies

Mohamed got not used to ICT. He used it only at school sometimes. He really wanted to use his phone to surf on the net but it was too expensive for him.

Thanks to the G8WAY project he understood the potential of ICT and he is interested in discovering and using it. He suggested for the project’s portal to have some other experiences of immigrated families around Europe in order to understand how other guys and young people faced the same situation between family’s tradition and local opportunities. He also said that to have some e-contacts/friends could be useful for people like him in order to share and exchange experience with much more freedom in order to receive more free advice which doesn’t come from the local context.