Morocco to teach science subjects in English instead of French
Morocco is officially moving towards adopting the English language in teaching scientific subjects at all primary and middle school levels instead of French, said the ministry of education last week.
"The ministry believes that the English language can become the first foreign language within two years," the ministry's spokesperson told the local website Hespress on Friday.
The ministry said it has set a seven-year-plan to implement the teaching of the English language gradually in the country’s public primary and middle schools. The plan will be executed next year.
As of now Moroccan public schools teach the English language starting from the last year of middle school.
Teachers of science subjects will be required to have from 6 to 8 hours of training each week to keep up with the ministry's new plan, according to the Hespress website.
The new decision came only three years after administering French as the scientific education language in Morocco.
And as many celebrated the new pro-English direction, several teachers and parents voiced frustration over the ministry's back-and-forth plans.
"As a teacher who studied French at university. I put a great effort into learning how to teach mathematics in Arabic. Then we went back to France. And now I must learn English. This is unacceptable," Hasnae, a middle school teacher of mathematics, told The New Arab.
"I support the English decision. But hopefully, that will not change after a year or two again. This affects our children's future," Fatima, a mother of a primary school student, told The New Arab.
In 2019, Justice and Development Party (PJD), the ruling majority at the time, reversed decades of a pro-Arabic educational system by introducing the French curriculum - the decision sparked outrage in the country and also among the Islamist party.
"The French lobby in Morocco is strong, and it is the one who fights us and is our real opponent... More French than the French people themselves, and keener on the interests of France more than them," said Abdelillah Benkirane, former head of PJD and former Prime minister, in a video in 2019.
Under Hassan II's rule, newly-independent Morocco decolonised its education system by translating all education resources into Arabic.
However, most university courses remained in French, which presented a struggle for most public school students.
The university's language barrier also presented an advantage for students of private schools, which have always offered a pro-French education system.
French is the first foreign language in the North African Kingdom with English, Spanish and German ranked later.
Many bureaucratic procedures in Morocco are still done in French.
In the last years, Morocco and Algeria have both headed to end their dependence on their former coloniser's language.
The North African states' new pro-English direction coincides with their fury with Paris over several diplomatic and political issues.