Rabat – A proposition to have Moroccan families contribute to the finance of public education costs stirred opposition in the Supreme Council of Education, Training and Scientific Research.
The council, headed by Omar Azziman, met on Monday and Tuesday at its new headquarters in Rabat to discuss the framework laws of the national education system, as requested by Head of Government Abdelilah Benkirane.
According to sources from inside the meetings, members proposed an additional source of systematic financing for public schools through the imposition of tuition fees for Moroccan families. The suggestion caused tense debate within the council, though this has not been the case when similar measures have been proposed in the past.
The most prominent opposition voices came from the educational unions represented in the council, including Allal Belarbi, from the National Association for the Education of the Democratic Confederation of Labor and the Ma al-Einein, a representative from the National Association for Educational Employees, which is affiliated with the National Union of Moroccan Workers.
The ruling Justice and Development Party’s (PJD) educational reform agenda for 2015-2030 said it sought to reform the council, which oversees the kingdom’s multilevel education systems, in abidance to directives from King Mohammed VI and the 2011 constitution.
The new strategy aims to create workers that match the skills currently in demand in the kingdom’s economy as it develops rapidly.
Young Moroccans – especially young women – have been facing unrelentingly high unemployment rates, causing widespread economic distress in urban areas.
In 2016, an unproductive agricultural season caused by virtually absent rainfall affected employment and profits in rural areas. Farming provides 40 percent of jobs in Morocco’s workforce.