The closure of private schools in Morocco will reduce the private sector’s share in the country’s education system to 11%.
Rabat – Morocco’s Minister of Education Saaid Amzazi announced on Monday that 140,000 Moroccan students left private schools for public schools in 2020, against 52,000 last year.
Speaking during a session with the Education, Culture and Communication Committee at the House of Representatives, Amzazi stressed that the increase is mainly due to the closure of 68 private schools after the COVID-19 crisis left them bankrupt.
“… it is sad,” the minister said.
The closure of private schools will lead to a deficit in the share of the private education sector to 11%, with 6,370 private schools remaining in Morocco, serving 1.025 million students.
During the same session, in which the Moroccan official discussed the ministry’s draft budget for the year 2021, he predicted that the share of private schools in Morocco’s education system will reach 12% in 2022 and 13% in 2023.
Amzazi presented an example of a public primary school he visited in Fez which opened during the pandemic and received 1,300 students in its first year. The principal attributed the significant enrollment number to the closure of a private primary school nearby.
The migration from private to public schools that Morocco saw this year led the ministry to suspend its program of reducing the number of students per class, Amzazi said.
The ministry implemented the policy of limiting class sizes with the launch of the 2020-2021 school year as a preventive measure to protect against the spread of COVID-19.
“Under current conditions, this program will be postponed until next year,” affirmed Amzazi.
The Ministry of Education has intervened several times to close schools with COVID-19 cases to help curb the spread of the virus among students, staff, and their families.
On October 13, Amzazi declared that the ministry decided to close 229 schools across Morocco after discovering a total of 3,662 COVID-19 cases among pupils, educators, and staff.
On September 24, a few days following the launch of the school year, Amzazi announced the closure of 118 schools after discovering 413 positive COVID-19 cases.
The decisions fall within the framework of the provisions of Ministerial Note No. 046/20 on the management of COVID-19 cases in educational establishments.