The UN questions private education in Morocco
(Rabat) - In a list of issues released on Tuesday, 18 February, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) formally asked the Moroccan Government to explain the measures it has taken to ensure that all children have access, without any discrimination, to quality education. The Committee specifically requested that Morocco explain the measures taken to ensure that the development of private education does not come at the expense of public schools. This is a first victory for the Moroccan Coalition for Education for All (MCEFA), the Forum des Alternatives Maroc (FMAS) and the Global Initiative on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (GI-ESCR), as several points that they had raised in their reports to the Committee were included in the list of issues of the CRC.
The Committee on the Rights of the Child, the UN body made up of international experts responsible for monitoring implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, asked the Moroccan Government to explain ‘the measures [that] have been taken since the establishment of the 2008-2012 Emergency National Education Plan to ensure access of all children to a quality education, to end the discrimination which children, including children living in rural areas and girls, are still suffering’. They also required the government to explain ‘the measures taken to control the conditions and quality of education in private schools and to ensure that public school teachers are not transferred to private schools’.
The MCEFA, the FMAS and the GI-ESCR welcomed on Thursday the consideration by CRC of the issues they had raised and this new perspective on the increasing difficulties of the Moroccan educational system.
‘We are pleased that the Committee on the Rights of the Child has recognised that the issue of education, and in particular the question of the regulation of private education, is essential. This is the result of several months of work on this issue from the MCEFA and other organisations which has demonstrated and denounced discrimination in education created by the uncontrolled development of private education in Morocco. We now hope that the Government will respond accurately and transparently to the questions that have been submitted to them and we look forward to a fuller examination of privatisation of education in Morocco in September this year,’ declared the 3 organisations.
This list of issues published by the CRC follows a pre-review of Morocco by the CRC on 3 February 2014. The Moroccan Government must now respond in writing to questions posed by the Committee by 15 June 2014. Morocco will then be formally reviewed in plenary by the CRC in September 2014, after which the Committee will make written recommendations.
The organisations stand ready to contribute to the debate on the reform of the education system. They will keep on working on this topic with the Moroccan civil society in the coming months.
· The list of issues raised by the CRC is available here: http://goo.gl/4P5Lch (French).
· A visual summary of key issues in the report is available here: http://goo.gl/MTGua8
· The last report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education is available here: http://ap.ohchr.org/documents/dpage_e.aspx?si=A/68/294
Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Bret Thiele on +1 218 733 1370+1 218 733 1370 and Sylvain Aubry on +212 6 22 37 86 37+212 6 22 37 86 37
Coalition Marocaine pour l’Éducation pour Tous: Ahmed Sehouate (Arabic and French) on +216 62 10 05 85
FMAS: Mustapha Hattab (Arabic and French) on+212 6 61 74 18 13+212 6 61 74 18 13
The Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (GI-ESCR) is an international non-governmental human rights organization which seeks to advance the realization of economic, social and cultural rights throughout the world, tackling the endemic problem of global poverty through a human rights lens. See http://www.globalinitiative-escr.org/
The Moroccan Coalition on Education for All(MCEFA) is a Moroccan NGO created in 2010. It is a network of more than 50 Moroccan organisations interested in the valorisation of public education in Morocco.
The Forum des Alternative Maroc (FMAS) is a Moroccan NGO created in 2003 to promote democracy, human rights and social justice in Morocco. It works with an extensive network of national and grassroots civil society organizations in Morocco and beyond, in particular through its E-Joussour project (http://www.e-joussour.net/),a Maghreb/Machrek civil society portal. See http://www.forumalternatives.org/
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