Morocco’s King Criticizes Gov’t Ed Policy, Calls for Vocational Ed

Morocco’s King Mohammed VI has criticized the government’s efforts in developing educational policy for the 21st century, according to Saad Guerraoui of Middle East Online. The King made a speech during the 60th anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the People that asked the government to develop a curriculum that meets the requirements of the job market and that pays further attention to vocational training and to the rehabilitation of technical and manual work.

The King also expressed his unhappiness at the current state of education, which forces many families to send their children to study abroad or in private institutions despite their limited financial resources.

The Moroccan monarch also pointed out the difficulties being faced by the educational sector that are hampering its role in helping Morocco achieve socio-economic development.

“The education sector is facing many difficulties and problems. They are mostly due to the adoption of some syllabi and curricula that do not tally with the requirements of the job market,” said the King. “Another reason has to do with the disruptions caused by changing the language of instruction from Arabic, at the primary and secondary levels, to some foreign languages, for the teaching of scientific and technical subjects in higher education. Accordingly, students must be provided with the necessary linguistic skills so that they may fully benefit from training courses,” he noted.

The King admired the positive results achieved in the fields of vocational, handicraft and technical training. He, however, made an important remark on certain educational institutions which teach some obsolete subjects which exacerbate unemployment among university graduates.

“Educational institutions which provide such courses should not be factories that produce unemployable graduates, particularly in certain obsolete subjects,” he said, adding that Moroccans should be encouraged to master foreign languages, expand their knowledge base, refine their skills and gain the competence needed to be able to work in Morocco’s new professions and areas of employment where there is a significant shortage of skilled workers.

According to the King, vocational training and rehabilitation of technical and manual work are becoming increasingly important in the Moroccan job market. He asked the government to pay more attention to these sectors.

In addition, the King criticized the current government for not following on its predecessor’s educational policies.

“The current government should have capitalized on the positive experience gained in the field of education and training, especially as this is a crucial project that will span several decades,” he said. “The education sector should, therefore, not be included in the sphere of purely political matters, nor should its management be subjected to outbidding tactics or party politics. Rather, it should be part of a cultural, economic and social approach aimed at training and preparing human resources who can be incorporated into a dynamic development process, through an efficient education system,” he added.