In order to reduce school dropout rates, Paris and Rabat have reached an agreement worth 134.7 million euros that will vastly improve learning

Morocco and France launch joint school support programme

The drafting and signing of this agreement was attended by the Minister in charge of the budget, Fouzi Lekjaa, the French ambassador to Morocco, Christophe Lecourtier, and the director of the AFD in Rabat, Quiterie Pincent - PHOTO/@AmbaFranceMaroc

Morocco's education sector took a major step forward with the signing of a 134.7 million euro programme between the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the French Development Agency (AFD). 

  1. Programme 2026 
  2. How can diplomatic relations boost education in Morocco?
  3. Morocco is committed to multilingualism 
  4. Is the development of education in Morocco exponential? 

The plan reflects the joint focus on education and human capital development, in line with the 2022-2026 roadmap of the Moroccan National Ministry of Education, Early Childhood Education and Sports. The drafting and signing of this agreement was led by the Minister in charge of the budget, Fouzi Lekjaa, the French ambassador to Morocco, Christophe Lecourtier, and the director of the AFD in Rabat, Quiterie Pincent. 

The programme's budget, which consists of a loan of 130 million euros and a technical assistance grant of 4.7 million euros, represents a new commitment by Rabat to improve and develop the national education system. 

Fachada de un colegio en Marruecos - PHOTO/ATALAYAR
Facade of a school in Morocco - PHOTO/ATALAYAR

Programme 2026 

The main objective of the funding is to increase the quality of education, in particular to improve the teaching of French in secondary schools. The plan addresses one of the most worrying issues, the school dropout rate.  ​

Dropping out of school is a problem that affects 30% of all students, especially in rural areas.

The approach devised in the programme focuses on implementing quality secondary schools and strengthening social support services, including transport, school meals, academic support and extracurricular activities. 

The programme corresponds to the Moroccan government's education roadmap and is implemented by the Regional Education and Training Fund (AREF). Both have ambitious objectives, especially in terms of closing the educational gap. It also aims to significantly improve students' French language skills. 

Minister Chakib Benmoussa and the French ambassador to Morocco, Christophe Lecourtier  - PHOTO/@AmbaMarocFrance

How can diplomatic relations boost education in Morocco? 

The aim of the visit is to strengthen France-Morocco relations, which are going through a tense period. This 134.7 million euro programme opens a new chapter in the educational partnership between France and Morocco. By prioritising quality education and reducing the dropout rate, this plan will create a more equitable and successful education system for young Moroccans.

The cooperation between Morocco and France comes on the heels of a visit by French Foreign Minister Stéphane Sejourné in late February, where he confirmed France's support for Morocco's plan to establish autonomy in Western Sahara and expressed his commitment to move forward in this area. 

"The President of the Republic has personally charged me with investing in Franco-Moroccan relations and writing a new chapter in our relations," Sejourné said, referring to ongoing efforts to strengthen the relationship between the two countries. 

PHOTO/AFP PHOTO/ABDELHAK SENNA - El ministro Chakib Benmoussa
Minister Chakib Benmoussa - PHOTO/AFP PHOTO/ABDELHAK SENNA

Morocco is committed to multilingualism 

Globalisation is a palpable reality in all areas of daily life, and Morocco has found, through the implementation of a multilingual education system, the ideal method to achieve it. 

According to Al-Arab, the Minister of Education, Mohamed Zerouali, explained that the aim of the draft law is based on "generalising the teaching of English at certain stages of the public education system."

The aim of the Ministry of Education is to start introducing English in 10% of the first year and 50% of the second year of secondary education from the 2023-2024 school year. In the 2024-2025 cycle, English adoption is expected to reach 50% in the first year and 100% in the second year, before being fully integrated the following year. 

Aziz Akhannouch's government aims to introduce English in 100% of grades and secondary schools by the 2025-2026 school year. One year later, in 2027, English is expected to be the dominant language in many subjects, just as French is now. 

El primer ministro marroquí, Aziz Akhannouch, preside de manera virtual la reunión celebrada entre el Gobierno marroquí y los representantes de los cinco sindicatos principales del sector de la educación. En la reunión estuvo presente el ministro de Educación, Chakib Benmoussa - <a  data-cke-saved-href="" href=""></a>
Moroccan Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch virtually chairs the meeting between the Moroccan government and representatives of the five main trade unions in the education sector. The meeting was attended by the Minister of Education, Chakib Benmoussa - (

All these developments respond to the new needs of young Moroccans, who consider English "vital" for educational, professional and cultural opportunities, according to a 2022 report by the British Council. This report highlights that 40% of young people in Morocco consider English to be the most important language. 

Is the development of education in Morocco exponential? 

The long-term success of Moroccan education depends on the internal implementation of student support programmes and the wider development of Franco-Moroccan relations. Recent diplomatic efforts and educational cooperation are positive signs, but current tensions, particularly over Western Sahara, may still cast a shadow.

Lekjaa stressed the importance of the agreement in promoting this transformation of the education system, which is considered important for Morocco's development, noting that the Pioneer Schools project is, in many ways, essential to these reforms. 

AFP/STR - Colegio de primaria en Marruecos
Primary school in Morocco - AFP/STR

Ultimately, it remains to be seen whether this new emphasis on education will pave the way for further reconciliation between the two countries. In his speech, the French Ambassador to Morocco, Christophe Lecourtier, underlined the strategic position of the reform of the education system within the new development model adopted by Morocco, and stressed the priority of the opportunities offered to this issue in both Morocco and France through the effort to improve the quality of education for the younger generations in both countries.