Arab World


01. Morocco > Education

Education is free and compulsory through primary school, though many do not attend, particularly girls in rural areas.

Education is divided into three cycles: a primary (compulsory) cycle lasting six years (children aged 6-12 years), a lower secondary cycle lasting three years, and an upper secondary education period of three years. Secondary education is the final cycle before the baccalauréat is obtained. Three different styles of education, the Modern track, which is the continuation of the French system, the Original track, which specialises in Koranic teachings and the technical track, which leads to a skill.

Figures for 2006 show that 60 per cent of nursery-school aged children attended a pre-primary school. Figures for 2007 show that 86 per cent of girls and 91 per cent of boys were enrolled in primary school, and a gross figure of 56 per cent of children attended secondary school (below the regional average of 66 per cent). Eleven per cent of students went into tertiary education. (Source: UNESCO, UIS, August 2009)

Morocco has 14 public universities: Mohammed V University in Rabat has faculties of law, sciences, liberal arts, and medicine; Karaouine University in Fes, is a longstanding center for Islamic studies and is the oldest university in the Maghreb.

The overall adult literacy rate has remained at around 50 per cent for some years. It is estimated that, whilst the women's literacy rate nationwide is around 39 per cent, in rural areas it drops to only 10 per cent. The regional literacy average is 68.6 per cent. In 2006, just over 26 per cent of government expenditure was spent on education.

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