· Private and Public Schools Coexist: All schools both - private and public - in Morocco are regulated by the National Ministry of Education. Private schools have more local control and capacity to spend tuition money on infrastructure and instructional delivery. It is generally perceived that private school students are receiving a better education than their public school peers. Often students in private schools are wealthier than their public school peers. Parents expect their students to receive or be given higher grades. The ministry of education is looking to expand the number of private schools between 5% and 20% by 2016.
· Power to Set Educational Policy Resides with the National Government: The structure of the educational system is hierarchical. All decisions regarding subject curriculum, graduation requirements teacher and school administrative hiring and evaluation, is controlled by the central, national government. There are several levels of the bureaucracy. The National Ministry of Education, Academie, Delegation, School. For example, school visits by American teachers must be approved by the Ministry. Most decisions regarding school infrastructure reside in the Delegation and coordinate with the school administration.
· Teachers Training and Placement: Teachers study a subject at the University - English, Math, Science - and then attend a 1 year teacher training college. Teaching assignments are based on a calculation which includes level of education - Bachelors, Masters or Phd, years teaching experience, evaluation of teaching, passing subject matter examinations and other variables.
· Teachers Are Hired and Assigned by the National Ministry of Education: Teachers are assigned to their school based on a wide variety of variables - these include their rank as a graduate from their teacher training center, need of the school, years of teaching, number and level of degrees (B.A./B.S., M.ed., Phd.) and teaching evaluations. Teachers typically work at a rural school before moving to urban area - although there are some major exceptions to this. The saying is "It is a sling shot. How far they pull it back, depends on how far you travel from your home."
· Teacher Evaluation: Teachers are evaluated by a district supervisor, rather than the school principal or associate principal like many districts in the United States. The district supervisor is considered a subject and instructional expert. The supervisor evaluates teachers in a specific subject area and a specific geographic area. For example, the English supervisor will observe and work with individual teachers in a particular city. The ratio is frequently large - 100 teachers to 1 supervisor - many supervisors are retiring. A new training center opened in the capital Rabat in 2013. 14 supervisors will graduate in 2014.
· High School Administration: High school administrators are the managers of the high school. They manage teachers and students. They run the building, but have little to do with curriculum or teacher performance. Anything to do with instruction and delivery of instruction or curriculum is managed by the District Supervisor or "Inspector".
* Lack of resources
* Lack of access to higher education
* Lack of guidance
* A division between the Arts and the Sciences and in how they are valued.
* Students who are less “smart” (Arts track) are ignored/often treated poorly
* There is disengagement from students without consequences
* Lack of accountability
* Little or no technology – no Internet access; little or no access to school libraries
* Lack of transportation (long commutes, often students will walk)
* Exam stress
* Religious Issues: France – leading the scarf ban (I spoke to students who refused to study abroad in France in spite of their excellent grades and better career prospects with a French university education. The head scarf ban mattered deeply to them.)
· Limited options – lack of options in Morocco
· Addiction issues (cheap street drugs readily available)
· Drop-out rate (early marriage for women)
· Textbooks that reflect outdated ideas (i.e. gender roles, inequality)
· Students have to buy their own textbooks