In the wake of the devastating earthquake that recently shook the region of Al Haouz in Morocco, the fate of the orphaned children left in its aftermath has been a matter of grave concern.
In a move that reflects a deep commitment to the well-being and future prospects of these young survivors, the Royal Court of Morocco has taken a significant step by bestowing upon them the status of “nation’s pupils.”
This designation, announced by King Mohammed VI, carries with it several privileges and responsibilities, underlining the nation’s dedication to ensuring the kids’ future.
The legal framework for these “nation’s pupils” is deeply embedded within Moroccan law, providing them with a range of entitlements, including access to education, healthcare, and priority consideration for public positions.
This special status is conferred upon exceptional cases, arising from specific circumstances that necessitate extraordinary care and support.
The roots of this provision trace back to a royal decree issued in 1999, which was designed to implement this law.
Under this decree, Moroccan children whose fathers or main guardians have met specific criteria become eligible for this status.
These criteria include cases where a parent or guardian has lost their life while defending the kingdom’s interests, whether within Morocco or abroad, while engaged in peace-keeping missions or humanitarian operations sanctioned by the supreme Commander and Chief of General Staff of the Royal Armed Forces.
Moreover, the “nation’s pupils” status extends to situations where the parent or guardian has become a martyr due to injuries or illnesses incurred during such service, or if they have lost the capacity to provide for their family as a direct consequence of these events.
It also encompasses instances where it can be reasonably inferred that the parent or guardian has disappeared or given their life in service to Morocco.
The legal framework governing these individuals ensures that they receive both moral support and material assistance until they reach adulthood or conclude their studies.
They are entitled to various services provided by the Hassan II Foundation for Social Works for Military Veterans.
The decree further stipulates that if these individuals lack the resources necessary to meet their needs or if those legally obligated to support them are unable to do so, the state assumes the responsibility for covering some or all of the expenses related to their maintenance, healthcare, vocational training, and education, essential for their normal growth and development.
In addition, the “nation’s sponsored persons” are entitled to an annual subsidy, the specifics of which are determined by regulatory texts, until they reach adulthood, marry, or cease their studies, provided they do not possess an income equivalent to or exceeding the basic wage applicable in public employment.
Furthermore, they are granted priority access to medical treatment, surgical procedures, and hospitalization in both civilian and military healthcare facilities, in accordance with the law.
One of the most significant privileges accorded to them is the preference given in primary institutions and, if they are pursuing secondary or higher education, priority consideration for scholarships on equitable terms, whether in public or private educational institutions.
Finally, the “nation’s sponsored individuals,” subject to the conditions outlined in regulatory texts, enjoy priority placement in public positions within state administrations, public institutions, and public entities.
They are also given preferential consideration when competing for admission to major national colleges and schools.
The “nation’s pupils” designation in a time of crisis highlights Morocco’s dedication to the welfare and growth of its vulnerable children, reaffirming the country’s commitment to giving these young survivors the assistance, care, and opportunities they require to create a better future for themselves and their country.