The UN expresses concern about « privatisation » of education in Morocco

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(Rabat, 14 April 2015) The United Nations Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (CESCR)* recently published a document outlining a list of issues (questions) addressed to the government of Morocco, to which the government must respond in writing in the coming months.

The issues listed by the CESCR directly reflect the concerns raised in December 2014 by a collective of Moroccan and international organisations in a parallel report submitted to the Committee on the issue of privatisation in education in Morocco. This list of issues represents a landmark, as it is the first time that a UN Committee directly acknowledges the current evolution of the Moroccan education system as “privatisation“.

At paragraph 25 of the list of issues, the CESCR asks the government of Morocco to “provide information on the establishment of private schools and the impact that privatisation would have on the education system, in particular to prevent school dropout, inequalities in access to education and ensure the full application of the principle of compulsory and free primary education for all.” The Committee is also concerned about the state of public education, and it asked the Moroccan government to “provide information on the measures taken to improve the quality of public education, including in the area of preschool education”.

The collective of organisations which submitted the initial parallel report to which the CESCR responded includes: the Moroccan Coalition for Education for All; the National Federation of Associations of Parents of Morocco; the Global Initiative for Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights; the Democratic Movement Anfass; Bayti; the Union of Students for a Change of the Educational System; Zaynoo for Equal Opportunities, and ATTAC Morocco. The report describes how the uncontrolled growth of private education in Morocco generates discrimination in education, and is a source of human rights violations.

The report also described with great concern the risks for Morocco to adopt a public-private partnership (PPP) in education, as currently envisaged in a bill prepared by the government. The collective of organisations is particularly concerned that Morocco follow the model of PPPs used in Chile, through a system of “vouchers”, whereas the Chilean education system is one of the most discriminatory in the world. This system has failed to such a point that the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) recently questioned the “segregation” caused by the Chilean model, and Chile is moving away from this system to build back a strong public-based system, which is the only option to guarantee education for all without discrimination.

The issues raised by the CESCR regarding Morocco follow recommendations on the same issue from the CRC from September 2014. On the basis of a research from a group of organizations, the CRC had already denounced the uncontrolled development of private education in Morocco, noting that it had led “to the reinforcement of inequalities in the enjoyment of the right to education.”

Welcoming the list of issues published by the CESCR, and the fact that its concerns have been taken into account, the collective of organisations:

  • Requests the government to responds precisely and transparently to the questions raised by the CESCR;
  • Reaffirms its willingness to contribute to the debate on the reform of the education system in Morocco;
  • Is getting ready to conduct an advocacy campaign around the issue of privatisation in education in Morocco;
  • Calls all advocates of the right to education to rally its dynamics.




*The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) is the body of 18 independent experts that monitors implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights by its States parties. Morocco ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in 1979.




Sylvain Aubry

Right to Education Researcher

Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Mohammed Qnouch


Fédération Nationale des Associations de Parents d’Elèves du Maroc ( FNAPEM)

Ahmed Sehouate


Coalition Marocaine pour
l’Education pour Tous


Yamna Taltit
Responsable Formation&Expertise
Association BAYTI


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