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Morocco - Preprimary & Primary Education

Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.comGlobal Education ReferenceMorocco - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Education System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education


There are two types of non-compulsory, two-year preschooling: traditional Koran schools (Qur'anic), where sacred texts are learned by rote, and modern private kindergartens.

Students begin Morocco's nine-year basic education program at age seven. The basic education program consists of five years of compulsory primary school (K1-K5) followed by four years of primary secondary school (K6-K9).

Subjects studied in primary schools include grammar, composition and reading, languages (Arabic, French, and Spanish), civics, and arithmetic. At the end of the fifth year, students take a national exam. Those who successfully complete the exam receive the primary studies certificate (certificat d'études primaires or CM2) and are eligible to continue their education, if their fami ly's socioeconomic conditions permits.

The number of students completing primary school has increased steadily. Since the 1980s, an annual average of 2.5 million children have enrolled in primary schools. In the early 1980s, there were approximately 1.0 million primary school graduates; at the end of the 1990s, there were approximately 1.4 million primary school graduates. Two of the 1990-1993 educational goals were to increase the annual primary school enrollment rate by approximately 8 percent and decrease the average class size. The annual enrollment grew by approximately 6.5 percent, and the average number of pupils per classroom decreased from 42 to 38. In 2000 the average class size was 28. In 2000, approximately 75 percent of primary school age children attended school, but only 55 percent of girls attended primary school.

Enrollments are lowest in rural areas where girls are needed for traditional tasks, such as household chores and agriculture, and boys are needed to harvest crops, care for livestock, or work at the traditional market centers. Rural schools are usually built a considerable distance from the villages, and the schools often lack boarding facilities, schooling supplies, staff, and reliable teachers. Even where schools are close to villages, only 20 percent of pupils from rural areas enter the fifth year of primary school education.

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