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Morocco plans to generalize English language teaching from secondary school onwards

Morocco plans to generalize English language teaching from secondary school onwards

Morocco intends to gradually generalize the teaching of English, starting from the first year of preparatory education, according to an official of the Ministry of National Education in a measure aimed at “establishing linguistic pluralism” and ensuring “equal opportunities” between the public and private sectors.

English is currently taught in Moroccan schools, from the third year of preparatory level in public schools, but the Ministry of National Education intends to gradually generalize it, from the start of the next school year, according to the Director of Programs, Mohamed Zerouali, told AFP.

The circular will concern only 10% of first-year students and 50% of second-year students next season, on condition that it concerns 100% of students in the 2025-26 season in a gradual and balanced manner, according to a ministerial note on the subject. French is currently the most widely used foreign language in the Kingdom. This decision is part of an ambitious project to revise school curricula, given the significant weakness in students’ understanding of language courses, particularly Arabic and mathematics. Zerouali felt that this initiative was “long overdue and reflects an urgent social demand (…) and is also an activation of the principle of equity and equal opportunity”.

The demand for private schools, which generally teach English from elementary school, or foreign missions, has become commonplace for average families in recent years, despite its high costs, with the aim of ensuring a better standard for their children, particularly in foreign languages. On the other hand, state education suffers from a number of problems, including low pupil attainment, which makes it a “machine for reproducing disparities within society”, as a 2021 report by the (official) Higher Council for Education and Training warned. The Ministry also intends to review the curricula for teaching the French language, which is taught from elementary school onwards; “To strengthen students’ capabilities”, added Zerouali. And previously, in 2019, the Kingdom had adopted the teaching of scientific subjects in French, instead of Arabic, from the preparatory level, a measure opposed by Islamists at the time.

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