The Moroccan government’s six-year-old, ongoing education reforms have created huge public demand for arts teaching, but critics say the strategy is flawed.
“There is an unparalleled demand from students,” according to Tariq El Yazidi, director of the Centre for Artistic and Literary Awakening in Tangier.
“A large number of families are keen to register their children at the centre,” he told Al-Fanar Media.
El Yazidi’s institution in Tangiers is one of 60 regional centres set up so far by the Ministry of National Education. More are planned by the end of the decade.
The ministry’s Strategic Vision of Reform 2015–2030 puts a high priority on improving the quality of all components of the kingdom’s educational system, from preschool to higher education and vocational training.
It includes the establishment of regional “centres of artistic and literary awakening” with courses in theatre, cinema, music, and the plastic arts, given by specialist teachers.
Previously, music and the plastic arts were taught only at the primary and secondary stages in public education. The classes were for only two hours a week, and were available to only 5 percent of students, according to the ministry.
The new regional centres are open to all students, but critics say the reforms have not gone far enough.