King Mohammed VI of Morocco has pointed out that the knowledge provided by school should inter-alia help young people acquire competencies and skills, but most importantly help them develop their personality and achieve self-fulfillment.
This came in a message the King addressed to participants in the 33rd International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement, which opened in Marrakesh, on Tuesday.
“The effectiveness of our schools should be essentially measured in light of the extent to which they respond to the basic needs and concerns of young people, who are the driving force in society,” the Monarch said in his message that was read out by Minister of National Education Saaïd Amzazi.
The Monarch argued that schools should provide young people with “the knowledge, competencies, skills, values, languages and culture that help them develop their personality, enhance their independence, improve their qualifications, achieve self-fulfillment, and increase their chances for social and professional integration.”
“This is something I have always seen as a right, and not a privilege.”
The King recalled that he had repeatedly stressed the special importance he attaches to the promotion of education, as he is fully aware of the decisive role education plays as a catalyst for the achievement of sustainable development in the various social, economic, cultural and environmental sectors.
“Education is the main instrument for the development of human resources. It turns people into powerful levers that contribute effectively to creating wealth, enhancing awareness and promoting innovative, creative thinking,” he said.
Education “forms citizens who are keen to exercise their rights and discharge their duties in all good conscience – citizens who uphold universal values, who believe in the unity of humankind as much as in their rich yet varied identity, and who are committed to coexisting with others while being immune to extremism and reclusiveness,” the monarch went on to say.
School effectiveness can also be measured by the ability to guarantee education and care during early childhood, and to ensure school enrolment for children from all segments of society, in keeping with the principles of equal opportunities, social justice and regional equity.
The King explained that this is particularly true for rural areas and deprived regions, for girls in villages and hamlets, for vulnerable children and for youngsters in difficult situations.
Given the special interest he attaches to the situation of migrants and refugees, King Mohammed VI stressed the need to likewise ensure school enrolment for children of migrants and refugees.
“They are also entitled to an education that responds to their basic needs in terms of upbringing and integration, both in the host countries and in the countries of origin,” he pointed out.
In his message, the King also brought up the reform of the Moroccan education system and its main priorities in order to achieve a qualitative leap forward regarding training methods and objectives.
“The aim is to introduce a new education system which promotes learner interaction, develops the capabilities of learners and improves their critical thinking skills. Another goal is to provide students with opportunities for creativity and innovation and to consolidate value systems,” he said, insisting that learners should be given the chance to acquire skills and learn foreign languages in order to open up to the world.
Likewise, youths should be trained to be good citizens, be integrated into the development process, be open up to other cultures and be fully involved in the knowledge and communication-based world.
The 33rd International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement is attended by about 1000 experts, decision-makers, public & private education institutions from some 70 countries, including 20 from Africa.
The five day-event is held under the theme: “Education, Youth Empowerment, and Sustainable Development: Collaboration between the Global North and South to Improve Education Quality”.
The Congress provides an opportunity to share experiences and discuss cooperation ties between the North and the South to improve education quality for all.
During the conference, Moroccan officials will make presentations on the country’s education strategy and reforms engaged to make education and training, engines of sustainable growth, progress and socioeconomic empowerment.
CSEI is an annual meeting that aims to promote quality and equality in education. In 2019, the event took place in Stavanger, Norway. Next year, the conference is set to take place in Auckland, New Zealand.