4. Introduction of the gender perspective and the principle
of equality in the education system and school life
69. Pursuant to the Charter, Morocco has made great strides with the adoption of legislation44 and policies aimed at ensuring gender parity in access to education. As indicated above, in the school year 2006/07, girls accounted for 42 per cent of pupils enrolled in primary education, 44 per cent of pupils enrolled in compulsory secondary education and 47 per cent of pupils enrolled in non-compulsory secondary education (high school). This represents considerable progress, but given that girls make up slightly more than 50 per cent of all children in Morocco, the State must pursue its efforts to ensure full gender parity in access to education and pay special attention to girls’ access to schools in rural areas. It is also important to have disaggregated statistics on dropout and absenteeism rates, in order both to bring these down and to establish a scientific basis for public policies to ensure that all schoolchildren complete their studies, regardless of their sex.
70. However, to reduce the gender perspective and the principle of equality in education to a matter of mere parity between the sexes in access to education is to interpret these two concepts too narrowly, in the Special Rapporteur’s view. Morocco should therefore define them more broadly and tie them in with human rights education, with a view to promoting an education system that encourages the continuous participation and inclusion of girls and the development of egalitarian forms of citizenship in which the roles and skills traditionally ascribed to boys and girls are superseded.
IV. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
71. The progress that Morocco has made in the education sector in recent decades attests to its growing commitment to human rights and the political will of the State and society. It has not benefited all sectors of the population, however, despite the strengthening of the legislative framework for protection over the years and the increase in the education budget.
72. This situation clearly shows how important it is to ground public policies firmly in human rights so as to redress social imbalances and disparities in the enjoyment and exercise of rights by means of positive action to meet the needs of the most disadvantaged social groups. 73. Despite this significant progress, the Special Rapporteur concludes that Morocco has a considerable way to go before it can guarantee all its inhabitants the effective enjoyment of the right to education. He considers that the main challenges facing Morocco in order to realize the right to education are the following: (a) To apply the National Education and Training Charter and other legal instruments, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and to pursue public policies on education coverage and quality; (b) To take bold and speedy action to bring broad sectors of the child population into formal and non-formal education, above all disabled children, particularly in rural areas, street children and working children. The Special Rapporteur has observed that these children have benefited less than others from the advance towards universal compulsory primary education. In Morocco, approximately 7 per cent of children, in other words 1.5 million children, do not attend school; (c) To reduce the high school-dropout rate, which official figures put at 4 out of 10 children in compulsory primary education, 5 out of 10 in urban secondary education and 8 out of 10 in rural secondary education; (d) To extend the coverage of literacy programmes and broaden their content beyond simply learning to read and write; (e) To make up for lost time in achieving the objectives set in the National Education and Training Charter with regard to the teaching of the Amazigh language and culture and introduce Amazigh gradually in schools countrywide; (f) To make human rights a real part of school life and one of the basic principles of education, as recommended in the National Education and Training Charter, and end corporal punishment in schools; (g) To set up as soon as possible the national and regional commissions to monitor and evaluate measures adopted under the national human rights education programme so as to ensure that content is geared to meet the needs of national communities and is based on international human rights instruments; (h) To strengthen the gender perspective in the education system and the principle of gender equality so as to do away with the current mindset that seeks merely to achieve gender parity in access to education and eliminate sexist stereotypes from textbooks. 74. In addition, the Special Rapporteur recommends that the Moroccan Government should: (a) Urgently collect detailed information on the situation of street children and identify practical measures to ensure their inclusion in the education system; (b) Follow the recommendations of the Children’s Parliament and take account of its comments and proposals when devising national and regional education policies; (c) Broaden the mandate of the Ombudsman’s Office (Diwan al-Madhalim) so that it can act ex officio to promote the realization of economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to education; (d) Establish an inter-agency team to devise and take the necessary steps to introduce school canteens nationwide within a reasonable time frame; (e) Assess the coverage and scope of family allowance schemes with a view to reforming them as required in the very near future to ensure that schooling does not constitute an economic burden for families; (f) Reinforce the supervision of schools so that the responsible officials can check that the National Education and Training Charter and the various national and international human rights protection instruments are being properly applied. For this purpose, the requisite specialist training should be encouraged; (g) Bring human rights education activities into line with the World Programme for Human Rights Education adopted by the United Nations General Assembly and the plan of action for its first phase; (h) Establish a system of legal protection against sexual harassment and sexual abuse for girls and young women; (i) With a view to promoting girls’ education, devise and establish a system of indicators showing the consequences of domestic labour for girls; (j) Draw up a suitable plan for training teachers to teach Amazigh, one that, in the short term, extends the length of training (currently between 3 and 15 days), in particular for teachers whose mother tongue is not Amazigh, and, in the longer term, sets the same standards of university training for the teaching of Amazigh as for other languages such as Arabic, French or English; (k) Sign and ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol and adopt a transition plan towards an inclusive education system; (l) Allocate funds to provide, or grants to purchase, wheelchairs, artificial limbs and other means of enabling disadvantaged children and adolescents - male and female - to go to school; (m) Establish a network of centres and shelters for rural girls who are the victims of violence; (n) Work for an amendment to the law to enable children - male and female - to enrol in the education system even without parental consent; (o) Develop disaggregated indicators on the school dropout rate and absenteeism by sex, social situation, ethnic origin and other variables, not only to help curb these problems but also to ensure that all schoolchildren complete their education, regardless of their sex.
* Резюме настоящего доклада распространяется на всех официальных языках. Сам доклад содержится в приложении к резюме и распространяется на языке оригинала и на английском языке. Он представляется после предельного срока в связи с проведением консультаций.
1 Constitution of the Kingdom of Morocco, preamble and titles I and II.
2 According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Morocco now has 31,478,000 inhabitants. State of the World’s Children, 2007, p. 103.
3 See official information contained in the report on the 2004 census available on the website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Planning.
4 Some 12.8 per cent of the rural population and 3.5 per cent of the urban population live in relative poverty, while 22 per cent of the rural population and 7.9 per cent of the urban population live in absolute poverty. UNDP, Maroc, Rapport de développement humain 2005, p. 34.
5 Document E/C.12/MAR/Q/2/Add.1, reply to question 2.
6 Tarifit is spoken mainly in the north-east, Tamazigh in the Middle Atlas, the northern part of the High Atlas and the south-east, and Tashelhit in the southern part of the High Atlas and in the south-west.
7 This dialect of Arabic has four variants: an urban dialect, Mdini, spoken mainly in older cities such as Fez, Rabat, Salé and Tetouan; a mountain dialect, Yebli, which is used in the north-east and has its origins in Amazigh; a rural dialect, Aroubi, which is used in the Atlantic plains communities (Gharb, Chaouïa, Doukkala, etc.) and in inland plains communities such as Haouz, in Marrakesh, Tadla and Souss; the Hassani dialect is spoken in some Saharan regions.
8 Morocco has submitted declarations on articles 2 and 16, as well as reservations on article 9, paragraph 2, and articles 16 and 29. In March 2006 the Ministry of Justice announced that Morocco would be reviewing these. In its third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, Morocco stated that it had withdrawn its reservations on article 9, paragraph 2, and article 16, paragraph 2, but the United Nations official website makes it appear as though the Government has not yet withdrawn them (http://untreaty.un.org/ENGLISH/bible/englishinternetbible/partI/chapterIV/ treaty10.asp). In its concluding observations of 1997 and 2003, the Committee mentioned its concern over the number and nature of Morocco’s reservations and declarations relating to the Convention, in particular those on article 2, which are considered contrary to the aims of the Convention.
9 Morocco has formulated the following reservation to article 14 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child: “The Kingdom of Morocco, whose Constitution guarantees to all the freedom to pursue his religious affairs, makes a reservation to the provisions of article 14, which accords children freedom of religion, in view of the fact that Islam is the State religion.”
10 Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography; Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict.
11 “The education system of the Kingdom of Morocco is based on the principles and values of the Islamic faith. It aims to create a virtuous citizen, a model of rectitude, moderation and tolerance …”
12 Education builds on these foundations to nurture civic values that enable everyone to participate fully in public and private affairs in full awareness of the rights and duties of all.
13 National Education and Training Charter, arts. 6 and 8.
14 Ibid., art. 36.
15 Ibid., arts. 143 and 144.
16 Document E/C.12/MAR/Q/2/Add.1, 2 March 2006, reply to question 23.
17 Ministry of Habous and Islamic foundations.
18 Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, general comment No. 13 on the right to education (International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, art. 13), in Economic and Social Council, Official Records 2000, Supplement No. 2, E/2000/22 E/C.12/1999/11 and Corr.1, annex VI; and the annual report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to education, Katarina Tomaševski, E/CN.4/1999/49.
19 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, art. 13, para. 2.
20 National Education and Training Charter, art. 28.
21 Information provided by the Ministry of Education, based on updated statistics to 31 October 2006.
22 Website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Planning.
23 National Education and Training Charter, art. 31.
24 In late 2005, as part of its non formal education programmes, Morocco signed cooperation agreements with 157 associations, which have benefited 34,950 girls and boys.
25 Ministry of Education, Higher Education, Executive Training and Scientific Research, Office of the Secretary of State for Literacy and Non Formal Education, National survey on literacy, non enrolment and dropout rates in Morocco.
26 Act No. 7 92 on the welfare of disabled persons, Decree No. 05 81 on the welfare of the blind and visually impaired and Decree No. 10 03 on accessibility.
27 A/HRC/4/29, para. 12.
28 Information provided by the Office of the Secretary of State for the Family, Child Welfare and Persons with Disabilities and the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Morocco to the United Nations Office at Geneva.
30 Reply by the Office of the Secretary of State for the Family, Child Welfare and Persons with Disabilities to the questionnaire of the Special Rapporteur on the right to education, Mr. Muñoz Villalobos.
31 Committee on the Rights of the Child, general comment No. 9, on the rights of children with disabilities (CRC/C/GC/9).
32 See the 2000 National Employment Survey and the 1998/99 National Household Survey. In 2000, less than 8 per cent of children in the 5 14 age group had a job, compared with 15.9 per cent in 1987.
33 See ILO, UNICEF and the World Bank, Understanding children’s work in Morocco, March 2003, pp. 23 33 and 36.
34 Ibid., pp. 22 25 and document CRC/C/OPSA/MAR/1.
35 Commission on Human Rights, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography on her mission to the Kingdom of Morocco (28 February 3 March 2000), E/CN.4/2001/178/Add.1, pp. 6, 7, 9, 18 and 23 (November 2000).
36 Labour Code, arts. 143, 144, 147, 151, 180 and 181.
37 Estimate provided by BAYTI, an NGO based in Casablanca.
38 National Plan of Action for Children 2006-2015, p. 39.
39 Conversation with the Special Rapporteur, 4 December 2006.
40 Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, general comment No. 13 (note 18 above).
42 National Education and Training Charter, art. 115.
43 Plan of action for the first phase (2005-2007) of the World Programme for Human Rights Education, adopted by United Nations General Assembly resolution 59/113B, on 14 July 2005.
44 See for example Act No. 05-00 on the status of preschool education (open to children aged 4 to 6) intended to guarantee all Moroccan children maximum equality of opportunity in access to education; Act No. 04-00, according to which “basic education constitutes a right and obligation for all Moroccan children of both sexes who have reached the age of 6”: the State undertakes to provide this education free of charge in the school closest to their place of residence, while parents and guardians are obliged to ensure that their children attend school until they reach the age of 15; and Act No. 01-00 on the organization of higher education, which provides that higher education is open to all citizens who meet the conditions required on the basis of equal opportunities.