Washington, May 28th, 2013 — A US$100 million loan will continue support to reforms in Morocco's education system that aim to improve access to quality education for all children. The Development Policy Loan, the second in a series to Morocco, was approved by the World Bank Board today.
"Morocco has seen increases in access to schooling at all levels of the system and enrollment in primary education is now near-universal," said Jeffrey Waite, World Bank Task Team Leader. "Although much has been achieved in expanding access to schooling, further reforms are needed to improve the outcomes of education, notably its quality and the overall performance of the sector."
Since 1999, the Moroccan Government has put in place programs to address problems in the sector. Work started with the National Education and Training Charter 1999-2008, continued with the Education Emergency Program 2009-2012, and most recently with the Education Action Plan 2013-2016.
The World Bank's first Education Development Policy Loan supported measures that the Moroccan government put in place to encourage poor rural families to send their children to school, such as increasing the value of the boarding scholarship, and improving incentives for quality teaching like publishing the results of the national learning assessment program. Since the first DPL was approved in 2010, enrollment rates for children in rural areas have been increasing. At the primary school level, between 2010/11 and 2012/13, net enrollment went from 93.2% to 97.0% for girls and from 95.8% to 96.4% for boys. At the lower secondary school level, the figures are 21.3% to 25.9% for girls and 28.6% to 34.0% for boys, which are still challenging but moving in the right direction, said Waite.
"Education is key to Morocco's development because of the strong connections between poverty, schooling and economic opportunity," said Simon Gray, World Bank Maghreb Country Director. "Building a robust and effective education system is critical and the World Bank and donor community remain committed to continue both support and technical assistance to make sure the education system can deliver and meet the aspirations of Moroccans."
This second World Bank loan, approved today, is designed to continue supporting the on-going reform efforts, in close collaboration with other development partners. The focus is on the quality of education through, for example, the establishment of regional teacher training, assessment and testing centers and on improved sector governance by decentralizing teacher career management.