Morocco:

23 June -4 July 2017

Abdeslam Badre

Led By: Abdeslam Badre

For almost a decade now, Morocco has engaged in implementing series of fundamental and structural reforms at the general and higher education, aiming at developing an appropriate and sustainable academic environment. The country’s education system has come a long way and in 2006 UNESCO granted Morocco UNESCO 2006 Literary prize. In 2000 the illiteracy rate was around 51.1% and in order to curb the illiteracy great effort was made and thousands of learning centers were opened to enhance the education system. Pupils have to go through 9 years of basic education in Morocco followed by 3 years of secondary education. After 9 years’ basic education, pupils enter the general secondary education where they are offered three options: letters/reading, sciences, or mathematics. Upon completion, pupils are awarded the bachelor certificate (inspired from French education system) or alternatively, they may also choose a technical path, leading to the bachelor certificate of technique. The language of instruction in the vast majority of schools is Arabic. Nevertheless also French is used as the medium of instruction in the technical courses or in the secondary levels. The French language is usually introduced in the third grade. Pupils between the age group of 7- 15 are given free education.

There are around 17 universities (2 of which are private) and 320 higher education institutions within the country. Some private organizations also offer higher education. Universities are public institutions with budgetary autonomy. Morocco universities are positioned to be the seats of higher education and academic excellence in Morocco and typically they offer a range of disciplines from arts, science and commerce. A typical feature of training is the presence, alongside the traditional system of higher education, of institutions of higher education that provide specialized training for high-level personnel in Science, Technology, Law, Economics, Administration and Social Sciences and Teacher Training under the direct control of ministerial departments. There are also eight engineering schools (Grandes Ecoles) that are public. University council rules on important matters related to university life. College education can be broadly classified into Language, Arts, Experimental Sciences and Mathematics. Vocational training, job oriented 2 year courses are also offered in many colleges across Morocco. The technical education comprises of the subjects like Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Economics and Agriculture. Students pursuing the technical track of their lives have to study a common syllabus in the first year and then they proceed to their chosen field of specialization. Colleges in Morocco are also either private or public. The duration of the college education is usually three years offering specialization in a subject. Students can either enter labor market or pursue higher education studies at the various universities of Morocco after graduating college. Higher education is provided by universities, engineering schools – Grandes Ecoles, institutes, teacher-training schools and centers under the supervision of the Ministry of Higher Education.

In institutional terms, the system of scientific research in Morocco comprises six research institutes. 982 accredited research units and 49 centers of postgraduate studies. Morocco devotes 0.7% of its budget to scientific research, the major part of which is used for the benefit of ‘hard’ science. The share of Science, Technology and Engineering theses is 27% of postgraduates’ theses. More than 75% of patents in Morocco are owned by the industrial axis Casablanca – Rabat – Kenitra. To help achieve greater economies of scale, Morocco, and since 2014, has launched a comprehensive reform program to improve access and enhance the performance of the education system. To restructure the sector as a whole and to enable the universities to compete with other large research centers internationally, the government has started grouping universities under umbrella bodies to combine resources as well as expertise; and to increase their visibility on a national and regional level. Another major focus is to promote scientific research in universities. Testament to this is the ongoing project to establish the center of research, development and innovation in engineering science in Casablanca. Works on the project began in October 2014 and are expected to mobilize up €4.68 Million in investment. Adjacent to the National Higher School for Electricity and Mechanics, the center will comprise several laboratories, notably in computer science, electricity and mechanics, and will oversee the training of engineers in line with the government’s ambitions to train a total 25,000 engineers a year by 2025. The number of engineers trained in Morocco today remains relatively low, with just 8.6 engineers for every 10,000 inhabitants, as opposed to 64 in France.

NEF Ambassador
Abdeslam Badre is a social scientist, with a strong research interest in policy development in the fields of migration & economic transformation, women & media, youth education development, especially in the context of MENA-EU Southern Mediterranean Cooperation. He has been a visiting researcher and teacher at various international universities, including Alfred University (New York: 2006-2007); Monterey Institute for International Studies (California: 2010), Aalborg University (Denmark: 2011), the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy (Berlin: 2012-2013), the University of Babes-Bolyai (Romania: 2013-2014), the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2014). Currently, he is a professor at Mohammed V University of Rabat, Morocco. In 2013, he was among the founding members of the Berlin-based Organization of Youth Education Development. Badre is an alumnus of Fulbright, Carnegie, and Africa Science Leadership Program, and currently an active member at the Global Young Academy; American Political Science Association, among others. He has spoken in over 300 international conferences, and he is currently co-leading the Africa GloSYS Project.

Events

1.Science Competition 

   23 June 2017         

   Venue: ICHRAQ Ass Annex: Diour Jamaa, Rabat-Ville

Science Competition is meant to promote the passion for science education among Moroccan Junior school students. A total of 30 students (12 to 18-year-old) representing 10 schools from different region participate in the game on an afternoon during the Science Week. The importance of this activity is that it does not only provide a platform for these students to compete and demonstrate their passion about science, but it also promotes the importance and value of science among young.

2.Science Street Trivia

 29 June 2017 

   Venue: On the streets of Rabat, Salé, Temara

This activity aims at reaching out Moroccan public opinion; especially those who may think they have nothing to do with science. The aim is to bring science to the street and publicize it via fun Trivia Questions. The game aims at raising people’s awareness that they might know more what they think about science; and that science is not confined to laboratories, but it is part of their daily lives. Three volunteered students are to implement the activity in the cities of Sale, Temara, and Rabat. A list of easy fun questions based on the idea of “Did you know that…” is being prepared. The volunteers are to go mainly to public spaces and intercept people and ask them three questions related to science and scientists related to the Moroccan context. If the interviewee gets the 3 answers right, s/he will get a small symbolic prize. The aim is to intercept up to 100 people in each city (300 in total) and give away 60 prizes (20 in each city).

3. “Next Einstein Forum in collaboration with The Doctoral Program “Studies in Language and Society” at the Faculty of Letters and Human Science at Mohammed V University of Rabat

Venue: :  Amphitheater Charif El Idrissi Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences. Mohammed V University in Rabat-Morocco

Event: Conference entitled the “The Power of Academic Research”

Date: 3-4 July 2017

Time: Starting at 9 a.m. Monday 3 July 2017

This conference brings together both junior and senior Moroccan researchers and scientists with the aim to discuss various questions related to the power of scientific research not only as an academic field but also as an effective soft-power that could address various societal challenges. The first session of the activity brings together panels with outstanding speakers to address the highlighted theme. The second session hosts a hands-on practice workshop that will benefit up to 40 PhD students and researchers on research methodology.

Speaking:
Prof. Dr. Jamal Eddine EL HANI, Dean of the Faculty of Letters

Prof. Dr. Yamina EL KIRAT, Vice –Dean for Research and Cooperation

Prof. Dr. Abdeslam BADRE (NEF Ambassador)

Prof. Dr. Taieb BELGHAZI

Prof. Dr. Said GRAIOUID

Prof. Dr. Hassan BELHIAH

Prof. Dr. Nourdinne AMROUS

Prof. Dr. Adil AZHAR

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