The World Bank announced Thursday the launch of a new program worth $500 million (4.77 billion dirhams) destined to support Moroccan authorities in the generalization of access to pre-school education, strengthening the skills and competencies of teachers and upgrading the governance of the education sector.
The World Bank’s “Education Sector Support Program for Morocco” to spread over five years enshrines the main goals of the 2015-2030 Vision for Education Promoted by the Moroccan Government.
The program mainly seeks to enable the transformation of the sector and strengthen the human capital of the children of the Kingdom, said the World Bank in a statement.
Representing on average 6.4 percent of Morocco’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the education sector is an essential lever to build the country’s human capital, the International financial institution noted.
Despite the universal primary access implemented in 2017, only 50% of children aged 4 and 5 attended pre-primary facilities, the World Bank said in its statement. The new program aims to create conditions conducive to quality early childhood education, in line with the Moroccan authorities’ desire to universalize pre-primary education by 2027.
Marie Françoise Marie-Nelly, director of operations of the World Bank for the Maghreb, acknowledged that rapid progress over the past two decades has led to universal access to primary education for girls and boys, which is a remarkable achievement of the MDGs. However, she said, challenges remain to ensure that this translates into better learning outcomes for al.
Improving the quality and effectiveness of education service delivery requires a substantial shift in the way the system operates, putting the learning process at the core of the functioning of the sector, she said. To address these challenges, Morocco’s Ministry of education has launched an ambitious reform program to improve the sector’s overall performance, in line with the 2015–2030 Education Sector Vision, which lays the ground for a “new Moroccan school”.
The new WB program is supposed to “enhance the efficiency of the education sector by improving access to quality pre-primary education for all by investing in quality training for teachers and advocating a local approach to quality challenges of education and the management of schools,” the WB official said.
The World Bank’s program loan will complement a component of Morocco’s strategy to promote a shift in approach towards results-based rather than resource-based governance principles in order to improve classroom learning.