In the late months of 1999, the Moroccan government came face to face with a huge problem; its nation’s education system had reached an all time high in gender disparity, and dropout rates. This, combined to a severe lack of leadership, had lead to increased exodus of skilled workers, and threatened to bring the Moroccan market to its knees, and as 1999 came to a close, action was more necessary than ever. The government responded by launching possibly its most successful enterprise to date, the “decade for education.” From 2000 to 2009, education was established as a national priority; equity was established, investments were made, and educational infrastructure was rebuilt.
Thirteen years later, Morocco’s education system is as successful as ever. Enrollment rates have almost doubled, and the gender gap has been narrowed to just 3.5 percent. In the last year alone, more than 735,000 Moroccans have benefited from literacy and education programs established during the Decade of Education, a record in Moroccan history. In fact, Morocco’s reforms have been so successful that last year UNESCO awarded Morocco honorable mention for the 2012 UNESCO Confucius Prize, given to nations who show outstanding improvement in advancing literacy rates.
The Education reforms have centered on rebuilding the infrastructure of Morocco’s education system, and allowing for greater access, especially at the lowest levels. Between 10,000 and 40,000 teachers were trained every year and several NGOs were instructed in project management. The Moroccan government closely monitored these trainings, maintaining a solid standard throughout the country. The result, a rise in primary education rates from 52.4% to 98.2%.
Recently, World Bank lent its hand toward continuing the progress made in Morocco, offering a $100 million loan to support the policies of the education reform. After receiving a report from its Sector Team, World Bank has decided to deliver yet another $100 million finance to Morocco in efforts to finish the job that has been started.