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Morocco’s Education Ministry Gives School Kids 2-Hour Lunch Break

Rabat – The new schedule is the second the ministry released in one week, replacing a plan from Saturday, October 27.

Schools will now start at 9 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. with a two-hour lunch break between 1 and 3 p.m. from Monday to Friday.

The time-table concerns schools with one teacher per classroom, the ministry said in a statement.

For schools with two teachers per classroom, one group of students will start at 9 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m. with a two-hour lunch break between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

The other group will start at 11:30 a.m. and end at 5:30 p.m. with a two-hour lunch break between 1:30 and 3.30 p.m.

The two groups will go to school on Saturday as well.

Fewer hours of schooling

With the new time-table, some classes will have school for only two hours in the afternoon while others will have only 4 or 4.5 hours of school total per day. The reduction in hours may confuse school administrators and teachers, as they will have to change their planned classes to adjust to the new time-table.

For schools in rural areas, students will start at 9 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. with a 30-minute lunch break from Monday to Friday.

For rural schools having two teachers per classroom, one group of students will start at 9 a.m. and end at 1:30 p.m. while the other group will start at 1:30 p.m. and end at 6 p.m. The two groups will go to school on Saturday, too.

Middle and high school will start at 9 a.m. and end at 6 p.m. with two options for their two-hour lunch: between 12 noon and 2 p.m or between 1 and 3 p.m. The schedule, reduced by one hour from the typical time-table, may require teachers to cut some  subjects or topics from the curriculum.

You’ll need to know both new time-tables

The new time will be effective beginning Monday, November 12. Children return to school on Wednesday, November 7, after the fall break. The October 27 time-table stipulated that it goes into effect on November 7, so children may need to follow it for half a week before the newer time-table takes effect.

The October 27 time-table allowed only one hour for lunch break. The decision angered parents because one hour would not be enough for their children to go home for lunch.

Schools will go back to the traditional time-table in spring. Public schools usually open at 8 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. with a 2 hour-lunch break from 12 noon to 2 p.m.

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. Without changing the time-table, children would have had to go to school shortly after sunrise.