By Safaa Kasraoui
By Safaa Kasraoui
Rabat – Mohammed Hassad, Minister of National Education, Vocational Training, Higher Education, and Scientific Research, affirmed on Wednesday that school student dropouts decreased by 15.3 percent in Morocco during the 2016-2017 academic year compared to 2015-2016.
During the 12th session of the Higher Council for Education held in Rabat, Hassad said that the national dropout rate reached a record low in 2016-2017, with 279,177 students dropping out, as opposed to 329,618 recorded in the 2015-2016 academic year. Hassad also added that the female dropout rate remains high in primary schools compared to that of males.
The rate of both males and females who drop out in middle school decreases, while the rate between the two genders equals out in high school.
The minister added that “the classes with the highest number of retake students are the first grade of primary school, the third grade of middle school and the second grade of high school.”
He continued that “public schools in Morocco will start receiving new students from the age of five-and-a-half rather than six years old.”
The minister announced a new set of urgent reforms to improve the kingdom’s educational system. These include setting up a strategy to reduce the number of students in classes, aiming for a maximum of 30 students per class in the first and second years of primary schooling and 34 per class for the four other levels.
Hassad also intends to introduce French classes in the first year of primary education to improve the students’ foreign language ability. The minister also said he wants to make primary education mandatory for all children aged between four and 10 by 2027. He plans to do so by partnering with civil society actors and the state