Rabat- The new school year has come with more costs for Moroccan parents who complain of “expensive” school textbooks.
Summer and Eid al-Adha holidays have ended and the 2018-2019 academic year will officially start on Wednesday, September 5, for both public and private schools in Morocco.
This year, parents with children in private schools complain of the “high prices” of school textbooks. In previous years, private school textbooks typically did not exceed a total of MAD 2,000 or 2,800 per student for primary and secondary levels.
The total prices of textbooks now costs approximately MAD 1,600 for private primary schools and MAD 2,500 for middle schools. Textbooks, notebooks, and other school accessories combined can cost as much as MAD 3,000 to 4,000 for high school.
A librarian explained to Moroccan news outlets Le 360 that the French textbooks are more expensive than the Arabic books because they are imported.
As for public schools, the cost of primary school textbooks ranges from MAD 600 to 700. It costs MAD 1,000 for middle school and MAD 1,300 for high school.
According to 2017-2018 school year statistics from Minister of Education Said Amzazi, Moroccan private schools receive only 14 percent of the country’s students. While over 6 million students go to public schools, just under 1 million go to private schools.
Increased tuition fees in private school
The rise in prices does not only affect textbooks but tuition fees also. According to Moroccan daily Al Massae, some private schools across the country increased tuition fees by 25 to 30 percent.
The outlet claims that some private schools refuse to register students with grades lower than 14 out of 20 because the students would “affect their image.”
The start of school year follows shortly after Eid al-Adha (festival of sacrifice) when Moroccan Muslim families bought sheep or goats to slaughter. The price of a sheep ranges from MAD 1,500 to MAD 5,000. The period is difficult for many families since school fees and Eid expenses drain their finances.