Rabat – The Higher Council for Education has criticized private schools in Morocco for drifting away from national and religious precepts.
According to Al Yaoum24, Abdellatif El Moudni, the council’s Secretary General, stated that, in recent years, there has been a growing number of “private schools with foreign curricula that don’t match the religious and cultural national precepts and the foundations of Moroccan education system.” The statement was made during a lecture at the National Forum for Private Education in Morocco held in Meknes
The secretary general’s criticism of private schools came in the aftermath of a recently published report by the Council, pointing to a “decay of national values” in the Moroccan education institutions.
Following an initiative by King Mohammed VI, the government enforced reforms directing the content of Islamic schoolbooks to promote tolerance and moderation.
The decision also came as part of Morocco’s endeavors to counter extremist ideology, by reviewing the content of schoolbooks and expunging passages that might discriminate against an individual based on their faith.
Strengthening the Moroccan Islamic model as a moderate country promoting peace and inter-faith dialogue was one of the reforms’ goals.
Private schools, however, have not been following the directive because of the difference in curricula in comparison with public schools.
“If private schools wanted to adopt complimentary books, they have the right to do so according to the law,” said Fouad Chafiki, the Ministry of Education’s Director of Curricula, in an interview with Assabah.
“But, there are unfortunately violations of regulation in this regard, as many private institutions don’t submit theses schoolbooks to the Ministry of Education to get license to incorporate them into their curricula.”
Rafiki warned that “any private education institution teaching an Islamic education curriculum other than that approved by the ministry,” could be subject to closure in the event they do not comply with regulations.