By Jamal Boubakri
By Jamal Boubakri
Morocco World News
Washington, March 9, 2013
Education is a fundamental factor in the well being of every society. It is on the top of the list when it comes to factors affecting the development or advancement of any given country or region.
The right to education has been created and recognized by local organizations and governments for many years. At the global level, the United Nations International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1966 guaranteed its right under the article 13. Under this article, education is seen both as a human right and as “an indispensable means of realizing other human rights.” Education is considered crucial to “the full development of the human personality and the sense of its dignity.”
Is it fair to still see millions of people around the world without access to their most important right? Or, is it okay for those in charge – who claim they provide their citizens with their right to education- to be proud of their countries’ rankings being on the bottom of the list? Is it fair to always blame it on the lack of resources to provide decent education to everyone?
Fortunately, there are many quantitative and qualitative studies about education from some well established international institutions. Nowadays, with the help of technology, it is very easy to pull out data about any topic and any country. Let’s see what the current situation of the Moroccan Education system is.
According to the World Bank, “Education is one of the most powerful instruments for reducing poverty and inequality and lays a foundation for sustained economic growth.” World Bank data shows that in 2008, Morocco has spent 5.6% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or 25.7% of government expenditure on education. It is higher than what the United Kingdom and the United States had spent (5.4 and 5.5% of GDP respectively).
The National Initiative of Human Development (INDH) launched by king Mohamed VI in 2005 had focused on education as a fundamental part of its success. All current reports about the Moroccan education system show a lot of progress in the last decade. The primary and secondary enrollment ratios are much higher than ten years ago. The completion rates are ticking up as well. However, the literacy rate is still pretty low compared to some countries in the region. According to the World Bank, as of 2009, it was at 56% of people of 15 years old and above.
In the last few years, Morocco showed a great interest in developing its education system. It is obvious that the government understands that without a solid education, there won’t be any progress and the country will stay in its “developing” category for many years to come. The problem is not only about providing access to education to everyone, it is about providing quality education programs that will help lift millions of people out from poverty and help them enjoy a decent lifestyle and compete globally.
What are the solutions?
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) had mentioned in its latest Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for Morocco that one of the most important goals to develop the country is to “mitigate drivers of youth disaffection and marginalization.” In other words, engaging at-risk populations and providing educational, economic, political opportunities for both in- and out-of-school youth.
Here are a few other suggestions on how to fix the Moroccan education system:
– Learn from developed countries; seek expertise from countries like Japan and the United States.
– Focus on training more teachers and instructors and making sure they have the right resources to accomplish their job.
– Create a grading policy for teachers and offer an incentive program to those who excel.
– Create reward programs to the best schools of each region to stimulate competition.
– Give more attention to rural schools and invest in the necessary infrastructure needed in each region.
– Invest heavily in technology; create a one laptop per child policy (funds are available through international NGOs). It’s been done in other developing countries such as Uruguay.
– Create more partnerships with international universities in developed economies.
– Offer grants and scholarships to the best students to study in elite national and international universities.
– Make sure that elite public institutions are honest and the enrollment process is transparent.
– Parents should be responsible about choosing what’s right for their children, and they should pressure their local schools to enhance quality.
– Offer “back to school” programs to train unemployed people.
– Encourage the private sector.
To sum up, education is one of the basic and crucial human rights that every human being is supposed to get. Through a better education system, Morocco will overcome many social, economic, and political issues and focus on building a better future for generations to come. It is all about fixing the broken education system and having a long term goal to provide and maintain quality education programs.
© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed