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In Morocco, when parents talk about school, the discussions quickly turn to financial considerations. Such establishment costs 300 euros per month; another only 100 euros, but it has a good reputation. The most expensive are those from foreign missions. Up to 1,500 euros per month. “It’s like that here, you have to pay. This is the only way to guarantee a future for his children ”, assures Samir, father of two teenagers in high school in Casablanca. The total bill, for this taxi driver who prefers to remain anonymous, amounts to 540 euros per month – half of his salary. ” An investment ! “
Samir could have opted for public and free school, but ” it was out of the question “, he continues, before discussing the evils that make the sector’s bad reputation: “Lack of supervision”, “overcrowded classes”, “too much violence”. “And I’m not talking about the locals; let’s forget about the toilets in public schools! ” The result is above all a serious learning deficit of students who have passed through the public system.
A national study has just given an estimate: only 9% of students in the public master French, Arabic, mathematics and science programs at the end of college. In rural areas, the proportion drops to less than 5%. Published on November 30, the assessment – carried out by the Higher Council for Education (CSE) in 2019 with 37,000 students – had a strong echo in the Moroccan press which jointly denounced the state of ‘public school : “Overwhelming results”, “Alarming”, “edifying”, “collective failure”, “the great decline”, “sacrificed generation” … A statement “Painful”, for his part, admitted the Minister of National Education, Chakib Benmoussa, to parliamentarians, to show the scale of the project.
We knew that the Moroccan school was hardly brilliant. In 2019, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) PISA survey on the performance of education systems ranked it 75e from a list of 79 countries. Corn “What is shocking about these latest results is the performance gap which is constantly widening between the public and the private sector”, emphasizes Abdennasser Naji, education expert and member of the CSE. If a tiny minority of middle school students in the public master the program (less than 10%), in the private sector, they are 62% in French, 50% in maths, 38% in Arabic. The evaluation body predicts that the Covid-19 crisis will worsen the gap due to distance learning courses which have largely supplanted classroom teaching in 2020 and 2021. “A significant proportion of children in rural areas and disadvantaged areas have dropped out”, according to the evaluation of the Higher Education Council.
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“Here, you have to pay if you want to guarantee a future for your children”: how educational inequalities are widening in Morocco