Education & Jobs

Staying in education

Morocco’s state education system consists of five years at primary level (from age six) and four years of secondary.

Children at school in MoroccoPrimary schooling is free and compulsory, with 90% of children enrolled. However attendance levels can be low in rural areas.


SchoolIn this video… Fadoua and Rafik talk about what their school life is like. Rafik attends a school in the countryside which is very different to Fadoua’s school.

Once primary schooling finishes, drop-out levels are high, especially among girls. Only around half of girls enrol at secondary school, compared to nearly two-thirds of boys. This is reflected in national literacy rates (2008), showing 68% of 15-24 year-old women able to read and write, compared to 85% of young men.


Children in rural areas also have a language barrier to overcome if they are to continue successfully up through the schooling system. Many rural children have a local Berber dialect as their mother tongue.

However, standard Arabic and French are the main languages of education. English is also increasingly taken as the foreign language of choice.

Not enough jobs

A truck on Morocco's motorwaysOver two-fifths of Morocco’s working population remains in agriculture, while a third work in the service sectors. The remainder are mostly employed in the mining, manufacturing and construction industries.

As the economy continues to modernise, the government expects more workers to be absorbed into the tourism, telecommunications and service industries.

Currently, Morocco is battling high levels of unemployment. Official statistics put the unemployed at 10% of Morocco’s work force. But rates are likely to be much higher among younger people.

As there is no welfare support, many Moroccans leave the country to seek work abroad; the World Bank estimates three million migrants send back over six billion dollars in remittances annually.