Public primary school: Wide margin of progression in perspective

The National Day for the Fight Against Illiteracy, commemorated this October in Morocco, offers an opportunity to focus on the achievements in the Kingdom in terms of literacy. In view of the considerable efforts deployed in this context, a number of projects and programs have led to progress. But that is not the point!

Because this is not quite the case for another form of education, such as primary education. Nearly two months have passed since the start of the new school year, which, it should be remembered, was placed under the sign of the reform of the education system, the objective being to improve the quality of Moroccan schools.

In this context, the Minister of National Education, Preschool and Sports Chakib Benmoussa, had insisted on the reform which aims to enable primary school students to master the Arabic and French languages. The reform, he said, was based on three main and specific axes which are reflected in the pupil, the teacher and the school. During an intervention today, Benmoussa underlined that the ministry, together with all the stakeholders, is making great efforts to open up the public school to its environment and ensure quality educational feedback.

The goal, he said, deploring some dysfunctions in the level of certain pupils, “is to have pupils at the end of the primary year who have mastered the basics of writing, and who can read, understand, count and speak Arabic and French”. It is clear that many efforts must indeed be deployed upstream. Because, if we stick to parents’ associations, there are a few hiccups that taint the euphoria of a new school year and which ultimately resulted in some confusion.

The cases of registrations and re-registrations being one of these elements. The phenomenon of overcrowding in classrooms in certain regions and departments. Fez, Marrakech, Casablanca… not to name them were not left out.

It was said that the classes had increased from forty to fifty students contrary to what had been stipulated in the ministerial notes issued on the subject, which indicated about thirty students per class in these specific regions and departments.

Overcrowding with negative repercussions on the quality of education. Also criticized, the lack of availability of prescribed textbooks in their commercialization spaces in sufficient numbers as well as school transport in rural and semi-rural areas.

The parents of students also regretted the lack of educational and administrative frameworks in certain disciplines, in particular the French language and scientific subjects, indicating that this would negatively impact the teaching of students within the time limits. We will remember all the same this sentence of the Minister of National Education, Preschool and Sports: “the generalization of primary education is an achievement, but the most important thing is to ensure quality and fight against school dropout“. Time will tell !

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