Transformative World Bank interventions support Moroccan early learning
The World Bank announced a new US$500 million (AUD$ 721 million) program in support of Morocco’s goals of expanding access to quality pre primary education late last week.
The support from the World Bank aims to significantly enhance teachers’ skills and competencies, and strengthen the governance of the early childhood education and care sector. The Morocco Education Support Program will act on key elements of the Moroccan Government’s 2015 – 2030 Education Sector Vision, aiming to boost human capital for every Moroccan child.
“This new Program intends to promote a more efficient education sector by supporting access to quality pre-primary education for all, investing in quality training for teachers and supporting a local-level approach to address education quality challenges and school-level leadership. This approach, based on best practices, is meant to support a paradigm shift in the sector to drive its transformation and build the country’s future human capital”. Marie Françoise Marie-Nelly, World Bank Maghreb Country Director said.
Despite Morocco having universal access to primary school education, in 2017, only 50 per cent of children aged four and five attended pre-primary education. With the new program, the Moroccan Government have recognised that an important part of preparing children for primary school education is offering access to quality early childhood education (ECE).
As such, access for children aged four and five years of age is a major focus of the current program. Through targeted interventions, the program aims to establish an enabling environment for quality ECE service delivery, based on the government’s program to universalise pre-primary education by 2027.
The program will also support an ambitious reform agenda to ensure that teachers are adequately trained and supported throughout their career, which the Government hopes will lead to a stronger teaching profession overall, something they view as a crucial element to improving learning outcomes.
Improving the performance and efficiency of the education system to produce better learning outcomes requires a deep transformation of its governance, a spokesperson said. Building on the strategic vision of the Moroccan Ministry of Education, the program will help strengthen the education sector’s management capabilities and accountability along the education service delivery chain.
As such, it will promote a stronger focus on results through the implementation of performance contracts by the regional and provincial directorates affiliated to the ministry, including the Regional Education Academies (AREFs).
The Program will also support adaptive, and locally-tailored approaches to improve school-level delivery by supporting school principals not only to develop the school improvement plan in a participatory approach, but also to implement them. Along with the performance contracts, a monitoring and evaluation mechanism will track progress toward milestones identified within the Program.
Project Task Team Leaders, Fadila Caillaud, Program Leader for Human Development and Anne-Lucie Lefebvre, Senior Public Sector Specialist, said that the current program is based on the government’s vision to lay the foundations of a “new Moroccan school”, one in which children are ready to learn, teachers are better prepared to teach, and the system as a whole is more efficient at supporting the teaching and learning processes.
The current Program builds on the regionalisation agenda to give education service providers, including AREFS, Provincial Directorates and schools, greater capacity and accountability to manage the challenge of significantly improving learning outcomes for all Moroccan children.
More information about the education reforms in Moroccan early childhood education and care may be found here.