Education in Morocco is free and compulsory from the ages of 7 to 13 years old. The system consists of 6 years of primary, 3 years of lower-middle / intermediate school, 3 years of upper secondary, and a tertiary education. Every child in this age group is eligible, including foreign children. Morocco allocates approximately one fifth of its budget to education and is monitored by the Ministry of National Education (MNE) and Ministry of Higher Education and Executive Training.
However, there are issues with the education system and only about 50 percent of Moroccans are literate (higher percentage for males). About three fourths of school age males attend school, but only about half of school age girls. Slightly more than half of the children go on to secondary education, including trade and technical schools.
Preprimary education is compulsory for children aged 6 and up, but is open to children as young as 4 years old. There are two types of pre-primary schools in Morocco:
Kindergarten - Private school that provides education mainly in cities and towns
Koranic schools - Prepare children for primary education by helping them develop basic literacy and numeracy skills.
Students attend primary school from 6-12 years old. Students are required to pass Certificate d'études primaires to be eligible for admission in lower secondary schools.
After 9 years of basic education, students may begin upper secondary school. There is 1-year of common core curriculum of either arts or sciences. Second year students take earth and life sciences, physics, agricultural science, technical studies or mathematics. There is an average enrollment of just over 55 percent, but drop-out rates remain high.
The majority of private schools are International Schools. There are a few private schools, some with boarding options. They are usually affiliated with a specific religion.
The country has about 230,000 students enrolled in fourteen major public universities and several private institutes. Admission to public universities requires a baccalaureate, with admission to higher public education (engineering school) requires competitive special tests and special training before the exams. Moroccan institutions have also established partnerships with institutes in Europe and Canada and offer joint degree programs in various fields from well-known universities.
Morocco also has prestigious postgraduate schools.