Teachers’ Forum meeting in Marrakech calls for rural education to be made a national priority for Morocco

Over 250 rural teachers met in Marrakech from 13-15 January 2012 to attend the First Rural Teachers’ Forum in a bid to remedy the serious shortcomings in public education in rural areas of the country. The event was organised by Morocco’s National Teachers’ Union (SNE) within the Democratic Labour Federation (FDT) and focussed on the topic "Development and improvement of public education in rural areas means motivating teachers and improving their conditions".

According to Education International, the shortcomings in schools in rural areas in many regions of the country are engendering significant inequality within the population. In addition to the lack of core teachers, pupils have to travel long distances to get to school, are more likely to drop out to find work and are taught fewer classes in French, which makes it difficult for them to access university education.

The SNE works with rural teachers to try to identify solutions to improve conditions and ensure that the same standards and conditions of education are available throughout the country. Against this backdrop and with the support of the ISCOD and other partners such as Education International and the Spanish teachers’ union FETE-UGT via the Trade Union Cooperation Agreement with the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), over the past four years the SNE has been putting together a range of training programmes in a bid to influence public education policy in Morocco.

The Teachers’ Forum is part of this drive and was an opportunity for many teachers to get together to discuss schools, planning, the curriculum, textbooks and other aspects of education.

In his presentation at the event, the General Secretary of the SNE, Abdelaziz Ioui, noted that public education in rural areas was blighted by many functional shortcomings which the emergency programme implemented by the Ministry of Education had so far failed to remedy. He emphasised that improving public education in rural areas required that teachers’ working conditions be improved and that for decades no policy had succeeded in rolling out education on a broader scale in rural areas, and talked also about the multidimensional nature of the problem.

Attendees called upon all education stakeholders, including the relevant ministries, to take proactive steps to push education in rural areas to the top of the national agenda. The event was organised jointly by the ISCOD, FETE-UGT and Education International within the framework of the Multiplier Agents facet (LĂ­nea de Agentes Multiplicadores) of the 2008-2011 AECID- ISCOD Cooperation Agreement for Africa.

Communications Section. ISCOD Technical Office. Madrid, 20 February 2012