Morocco gained independence in 1956 and a year later the Royal Commission for Education Reform laid down the basic principals of post-independence Moroccan education. Developed during fifty years of colonial rule, the French educational model was adopted by the newly independent Moroccan state and reorganized to introduce a technical track in addition to a "modern" track and "original" track incorporated the traditions of Koranic-based education, emphasizing Islamic culture and civilization and using Arabic as the language of instruction.
The Ministry of National Education was established in 1959 to begin the task of training a native teaching corps to replace foreign teachers, build new schools and implement governmental education reforms.
Later Morocco faced a period of economic stagnation in the late 1990s due to extreme drought which placed a strain on its predominately agricultural economy. Despite the economic difficulties during this period, Morocco achieved remarkable progress not only in building remarkable Morocco property, but also in developing its education system.
Enrolment in primary school increased from 52 percent to 92 percent, in the middle school level from 18 percent to 32 percent, and in secondary education from 6 percent to 15 percent during 1990-2004 years.
The formal education system in Morocco is still still facing many challenges today.
Although education was becoming more accessible and the gender gap was being reduced, Morocco had not witnessed the positive changes seen in Asia and Latin America, particularly in literacy rates and enrollments in secondary schools and universities.
The World Bank has said the quality of education in Morocco is falling behind other regions and needs urgent reform if it is to tackle unemployment. Internal inefficiency is high, as evidenced by high drop-out and repetition rates. Gender and geographical disparities still exist at all education levels. Morocco also faces a rapidly increasing demand for middle schools, as a result of increased access to primary education. With government spending on education already high at 6.6 percent of GDP, opportunities to expand the budget are limited.
In order to help to solve the problem, the World Bank's Board of Directors approved a US $ 80 million loan to support a Basic Education Reform Support Program, also known as PARSEM, in the Kingdom of Morocco.
PARSEM addresses these challenges by supporting Government efforts to boost the quality of basic education for all children ages six to fourteen in a financially sustainable manner. The actions to be supported by PARSEM are threefold:
1. generalize access to basic education, to most school-age children by 2008;
2. improve the quality of education through reducing dropout and repetition rates and improving students learning;
3. build institutional capacity, reinforcing institutional capacity in association with the sector's decentralization process at the central, regional, provincial and local levels. The project falls in line with the Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for Morocco which spells out education sector reform and decentralization as one of the key priorities for fighting poverty in the Kingdom.
World Bank together with Morocco government hope that PARSEM will increase access to basic education, improving educational quality, encourage stakeholder participation, ensure financial sustainability, and promote accountability in sector management.