Rabat - Despite various state programs aiming at eliminating illiteracy in Morocco by 2015, the slow rate of decline – just one percentage point per year – has pushed the government to revise its target date while pledging to “redouble” its efforts.
Rabat – Despite various state programs aiming at eliminating illiteracy in Morocco by 2015, the slow rate of decline – just one percentage point per year – has pushed the government to revise its target date while pledging to “redouble” its efforts.
The national rate of illiteracy decreased from 43 percent in 2004 to 30 percent in 2017, revealed government spokesperson Mustapha El Khalfi during a parliamentary session on Tuesday.
Considering the variety of state policies targeting illiteracy in Morocco, including Mahou al-Omiya, the 24-hour online counter-illiteracy platform available on the television channel Assadissa, as well as open classes at mosques, the phenomenon was expected to drop at a greater rate.
These lofty ambitions have proven difficult to realize. In 2015, the National Agency for the Fight Against Illiteracy (ANLCA) said that approximately 10 million adult Moroccans are still illiterate.
“The figure of 10 million illiterate adults in Morocco should raise national awareness that a much stronger national political engagement is required in order to fight this scourge,” Mounia Benchekroun, a consultant in social and educational development, told The Arab Weekly.
But for El Khalfi, the slow pace is reasonable, stating that “we can not speak of development in the face of the persistence of this evil.”
Doubling the Rate
For now, Morocco’s new goal is to completely eradicate illiteracy by 2024.
“The government is now determined to earn 10 points in the next five years,” said the spokesperson.
“To win this bet, we will have to redouble our efforts in collaboration with different partners,” he said, citing in particular “the actions and mission of the National Agency for the Fight Against Illiteracy, along with the roles assigned to the Habous and Islamic Affairs sector and the 4,000 associations working in the field of illiteracy.”
The government has doubled the budget allocated for fighting illiteracy to MAD 500 million, including MAD 120 provided by foreign donors, according to El Khalfi.
The government spokesperson stressed that along governmental efforts in fighting illiteracy, Morocco must establish a system of governance to support NGO-led literacy operations.