Due to the lack of housing in rural areas, education waste and school dropout are growing in Moroccan villages, according to a parliamentary report.
The thematic group charged with assessing governmental policies on “education, training, and the stakes of reform” stated in this study that the necessary level for the establishment of boarding houses and student residences has not been attained.
The report also observed that the proportion of students receiving housing benefits in rural areas has decreased recently, stabilizing at 10.4% overall and 12.3% for females, down from 15% 17.5% for females between 2015 and 2021.
Over 90% of students in rural areas do not receive housing assistance, which fuels the incidence of school dropouts, particularly among females.
The higher education sector was unable to fulfill the rising demand for housing in university areas, which did not exceed 39% in 2022, while the ministry anticipates reaching 60% in 2024.
This is attributed to the gap in university communities’ absorptive capacity. There are only 50,000 beds available each year, whereas there are often 400,000 scholarship students.
Additionally, the financial allocation set aside for scholarships grows yearly to meet the growing demand, which surpassed two billion dirhams in 2023.
School transportation is regarded as a replacement for on-campus housing in secondary and preparatory education.
The number of students who use school transportation has increased recently. Beneficiaries of the service rose from roughly 10% in 2015 to more than 30% in 2021, including 32% for female students.
Nevertheless, despite the rise in beneficiaries, school transportation did not help to lower school dropout rates.
The percentage of middle school dropouts rose by around 21% between 2017 and 2019, but fell to 15% between 2019 and 2021, “indicating impact of school transportation on retaining male and female students in school,” the report states.
The intended pace of building educational complexes was not met, and the number of collective schools did not exceed 271 in 2023, out of a total of more than 5,000 schools in rural areas.
These educational complexes include classrooms, dorm rooms, accommodation for instructors and administrators, sports stadiums, activity halls, a library, and a restaurant, with financial cost of up to 10 million dirhams
90% of the schools in rural areas are made up of a central school connected to multiple branches, with a limited rate of 13,000 subsidiaries since 2015. This is despite efforts since 2020 to increase the number of collective schools completed each year, so that it ranges between 35 and 45 new schools.
“Collective schools do not accommodate more than 2% of the total number of students,” in the rural world, according to the report.
The document came to the conclusion that integrated social assistance, which combines financial help, housing, feeding, and school transportation, is necessary to achieve the objective to minimize school dropout and improve the quality of learning.