Rabat - While social critics have called on the Moroccan cabinet to improve the education system, Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani has said, “We should stop underestimating the role of Moroccan public schools.”
Rabat – While social critics have called on the Moroccan cabinet to improve the education system, Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani has said, “We should stop underestimating the role of Moroccan public schools.”
El Othmani made his remarks during a parliament session at Morocco’s House of Representatives on Monday, July 23.
“Education is our special concern, we are proud of it,” said El Othmani.
The head of government also said that Moroccan public schools have come out with “frameworks and competencies that the Moroccans are proud of and that the students who studied there are superior.”
Is there a problem in Morocco’s education? According to El Othmani, yes: there is an issue in the system, but that should not “lead us to dismiss the role of Moroccan schools. It is our speech that harms schools,” he said, calling on parliamentarians to contribute to the reform of education in Morocco.
El Othamni also saluted the efforts made by teachers, men and women “who are struggling for the homeland and are making great efforts that we must recognize.”
He added that his cabinet has focused on minimizing the shortage of schools, especially in rural areas, through rehabilitation and completion of school infrastructure.
To reinforce his statement, the prime minister gave statistics, saying that “the total number of schools reached 10,905 by the end of the previous academic year.”
According to El Othmani there are 889 boarding schools, 545 of which are located in rural areas.
The minister also added that 9,511 schools have benefited from rehabilitation.
Overcrowded classrooms are nightmares for both students and parents. Thousands of Moroccan students have criticized the large number of students learning in one classroom throughout the academic year.
According to El Othmani, the cabinet has stressed that the number of students per classroom should not exceed 30 in the first and second year of primary school.
Up to 34 students can be in a classroom for the other grades in primary school, added the head of government.
According to El Othmani, Morocco has more than 240,000 teachers, of whom 47 percent are employed in rural areas.
He added that regional academies have hired more than 20,000 teachers, who currently are undergoing training to be ready by the beginning of the 2018-2019 academic year.
Education has always been a concern for both the cabinet and Moroccans. The issue also attracted King Mohammed VI, who has called on his cabinet to set measures to improve education.
In a statement read by Minister of Education and Vocational Training Said Amzazi to the participants of “the National Day on Early Childhood Education” last week, King Mohammed VI called on the government to promote pre-school education as part of the new reform of education.
“As regards this crucial reform project, I believe a bold, ambitious approach should be adopted, putting public interest above all other considerations,” said the monarch.
Amzazi announced earlier this month Morocco’s strategy to improve pre-primary schools as an important phase for students.
A 2017 report from The World Bank said that only 43 percent of Moroccan children aged four to five were enrolled in preschool and only 27.9 percent in rural areas between 2015-2016.
Amzazi has put a major focus on pre-schools, aiming for 67 percent school enrollment by the 2021-2021 school year and 100 percent by 2027-2028.
Morocco’s Ministry of Education also pledged to reduce dropout rates and to improve the education system.