Rabat – The Ministry of Education has announced that schools will start at 9 a.m. and end at 6 p.m. with a lunch break between 1 and 2 p.m.
The ministry has set the new time-table for all public and private schools, vocational training institutes, and universities, the ministry said in a statement Saturday.
The new time will be effective beginning Wednesday, November 7. The date marks the end of the first school holiday.
The aim of the decision is “to adapt studying time to the new standard time.” The government decided yesterday not to set the clocks back on Sunday, but to maintain Daylight Saving Time (GMT+1) year-round.
According to the ministry’s statement, the aim of the time change is “to ensure best conditions for students, including proper academic learning, taking into account the needs of families.”
The schedule change will give students only one hour for lunch. Traditionally, students had a two-hour lunch break from noon to 2 p.m. Many students who live far from their schools may no longer have enough time to go home for lunch.
Some students in Morocco take public buses to get back home for lunch, which they may no longer have the time for..
The new time-table, according to the ministry, will also enable all students to get to and from school or university safely by ensuring they leave school in the evening before dark.
The time-table change comes after the government council adopted Draft Decree 2.18.855 Friday, to stay on Daylight Saving Time (DST) year-round, changing Morocco’s standard time from GMT to GMT+1.
Public schools usually open at 8 a.m., which would have been just 5-30 minutes after sunrise on November 7, if Morocco returned to GMT.
The minister delegate in charge of the reform of administration and public service, Mohamed Benabdelkader, said on Friday that the government would take into consideration school time and administration time so that parents can accompany their children before going to work “without pressure.”
According to Benabdelkader, the government’s decision to maintain DST year-round was based on “an evaluation study and many indicators.”
He continued, “The indicators include health aspects related to time change, energy saving and Morocco’s commercial transactions.”