Enhanced Educational Attainment for Children at the Primary Level

A girl puts her knowledge to the test during an in-class exercise
A girl puts her knowledge to the test during an in-class exercise

Quick Facts

  • Total Value of Sector: $32 million

Why Primary Level Education?

Early literacy is essential to overall academic success. Numerous studies have shown that children with poor reading skills are more likely to fall behind in school, therefore setting the stage for future dropout. While significant reforms have broadened children’s access to primary schooling, the Moroccan education system continues to produce low overall student achievement and high dropout rates. Moroccan children with disabilities also face major obstacles to getting an education. Only 15 percent of children who are deaf or hard of hearing attend school. However, the lack of special education resources make continuing their studies beyond the sixth grade nearly impossible.  A lack of education perpetuates poverty, limits job opportunities, and strains the overall social support system.

USAID Response

Current Activities:

  • Reading for success-small-scale experimentation (RFS-SSE): Developing phonics-based reading lessons for grades 1 and 2 to improve student reading skills in 90 pilot schools across the country, and reducing summer learning loss by organizing summer reading enrichment activities for students.
  • Reading for success-improving deaf children's reading through technology (IDCRT): Benefiting children in grades 1 through 3 in schools for the deaf and hard of hearing to improve their reading competencies in Arabic through innovative educational software, teacher training, and advocacy efforts.
  • Human and institutional capactity development analysis of the Ministry of Education: Supporting a national effort to improve reading outcomes by assessing the human and institutional capacity needs of the Moroccan Ministry of National Education, Vocational Training, Higher Education, and Scientific Research in collaboration with the Millenium Challenge Corporation.
  • Reading for Success - National Program for Reading: Building on the data, evidence and lessons learned from the Small-Scale Experimentation activity by further improving teaching and learning materials, supporting the Ministry in developing new curricula for grades 1 through 4, and scaling up the implementation of reading instruction practices at the national level.  

Achievements to Date

  • 12,000 students were reached with the new reading method.
  • Over 340 teachers have been trained on the reading instruction approach and provided with the instructional material kits.
  • An educational software for deaf children was completed and distributed to nine associations for the deaf across Morocco.
  • First ever Early Grade Reading and Sign Language Assessment developed, tested, and implemented in 10 schools for deaf students.
  • A Steering Committee formed and coached to lead the program and lobby for the rights of deaf children to equitable access to education.
  • Starting in the 2017-2018 school year, the Ministry will embark on a nationwide implementation of the phonics-based approach for reading instruction for grades 1 and 2.