How are schools in Morocco

MoroccoThe two-tier educational society

The girls and boys get up from their school desks as Headmaster Abderrahim Haba enters the class. The students of the Driss Bahroui primary school wear white and blue coats - the school uniform in Morocco. The best students are called to the front individually and tell about their favorite subjects.

Next up in the classroom, preschoolers practice writing letters and numbers. They sing songs in French to learn the language. The classes are jam-packed. Because every child in the neighborhood has the right to be accepted into school. Despite the high number of students, the school shouldn't refuse anyone, says director Abderrahim Haba. "We're fighting several problems this year. The number of students per class has increased. 50, 51, 52. I think that's too many."

There are exactly eight teachers for every 336 students in his school. French teacher Saida Elseris also has a full classroom with 50 students in front of her today; she looks tired. The burden is high, she admits. "It's hard, safe. We have to be effective. There are too many students. We have no time at all to observe every single student, to look at every homework. But we try everything so that the students understand everything."

Schools have had their own budget cut

Despite complaints to the school authorities, nothing has changed so far. Because of overwork and poor pay, many teachers prefer to switch to private schools. Hiring more teachers - Director Haba cannot do that. The school no longer has its own budget. Years ago, says Haba, schools were given a budget so that they could manage themselves. That did not work out particularly well in some schools, he cautiously suggests: staff have not been trained, it has been poorly managed. With consequences: the funds were canceled entirely.

"We haven't received any money since 2013. Since then we have tried to manage ourselves as best we can. But it has to be mentioned that the Association of Parents and Students gives us a lot of support. We keep knocking on them with them Door so that they can help us financially. " For every purchase - even if it is just paper for the printer - he needs the approval of the school authorities. But that's just enough to keep the standard up to some extent. Habas primary school thus symbolizes the ailing Moroccan education system that regularly drives parents and students on Morocco's streets.

The director's wish: to prepare his students for secondary school. Many Moroccan parents doubt that it will succeed: They distrust the state school system and prefer to send their children to expensive private schools - at least those who can afford it. This creates a two-tier educational society in Morocco. They offer a school bus, English as a second foreign language, more staff for school groups, longer care times.

Many parents fear that their children with a poor school education are threatened with the well-known fate: that they cannot find work and end up on the street - in crime, with no prospects.