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Morocco expands teaching of Amazigh language in primary schools

June 2, 2023 at 8:57 am

A teacher and his students in Casablanca, Morocco [henskechristine/Flickr]

Morocco yesterday announced that it was increasing the number of primary schools that teach the Amazigh language during the next academic year to make it available in all schools within six years.

In a statement, the Ministry of National Education said: “This step is in accordance with the provisions of the Kingdom’s constitution, particularly its fifth chapter, which made Amazigh an official language of the state (in addition to Arabic), and in line with the legislative texts regarding the official activation of Amazigh.”

The statement did not specify the number of schools which will offer the language, but highlighted that the ministry’s aims to reach half of the schools within three years. According to the statement, measures have been adopted “to achieve these objectives, such as teacher training, as well as establishing supervision and support mechanisms by inspectors responsible for guiding Amazigh language teaching regularly, while enhancing the integration of information and communication technologies and using digital resources and platforms in its teaching, complemented with suitable digital content.” Morocco adopted the Amazigh language in several schools since 2003.

Morocco’s 2011 constitution stipulates that “the Arabic language remains the official language of the state, and the state works to protect, develop and promote its use. Additionally, Amazigh is also recognised as an official language of the state, considering it a shared heritage for all Moroccans without exception.” The Amazigh are indigenous peoples inhabiting the region extending from the Siwa Oasis in western Egypt to the Atlantic Ocean in the west and from the Mediterranean Sea in the north to the Sahara Desert in the south.

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