Thousands of parents of students living in the kingdom of Morocco want to enroll their children in an Italian, French, Belgian, Spanish or American school. This is a short comparative guide.
Many parents are turning their attention to foreign private schools as the start of the new school year approaches in order to ensure quality schooling for their children. But between the French, Belgian, Italian, Spanish and American and more recently British schools that have chosen to establish themselves in the kingdom of Morocco and the tuition fees that vary from one system to another, it is not always easy for them to decide. But how do we choose among all these school systems? What is the particularity of each system and what is the price to pay? Overview.
The Italian school: the most affordable
It is the most affordable in terms of price. In addition to the pre-registration fees, set at 1,200 dirhams [about 110 euros and 120 U.S. dollars], it is necessary to pay 12,000 dirhams [about 1,100 euros and 1,200 U.S. dollars] per year for a child in kindergarten, 14,000 dirhams in primary school [about 1,300 euros and 1,500 U.S. dollars], 16,500 dirhams in middle school [about 1,500 euros and 1,700 U.S. dollars] and 22,500 dirhams in high school [about 2,100 euros and 2,300 U.S. dollars] for school fees.
The Italian system naturally includes Italian as a language of study, a language not widely used in Morocco. However, this does not constitute an obstacle for some parents of Moroccan students, as Yassine, a parent who chose to enroll her daughter in the Italian school Enrico Mattei in Casablanca, explains to us.
First reason: free afternoons. “I have chosen to enroll my daughter in the Italian school. Classes generally stop in the early afternoon. Which leaves time to do lots of activities and not have to take only courses.”
Another reason is the fact that for several years he has been in contact with children who are enrolled in the Italian school. “I had the chance to see the children of friends I saw growing up. I have noticed how brilliant and comfortable they are in at least three or four languages from primary school onwards, including Italian, French, Arabic, and English. In addition, it has a specific feature compared to other schools, that of directing students to the scientific or vocational high school.
In addition to the teaching conditions, our source emphasizes the price-quality ratio:
“It is the cheapest foreign school and it leaves parents with a little more income to offer their child other sources of development. I was able to enroll my daughter in dance, tennis, and theatre, which would not have been possible if I had paid a fortune in a French, Belgium or an American school.”
Spanish school: no tuition fees
The Spanish school is the second cheapest after the Italian one. It has the particularity of not charging tuition fees as is the case with other foreign school systems. School fees are set at 21,000 dirhams [about 1,900 and 2,000 U.S. dollars] per year from kindergarten to high school, informs us the school’s communication department. In addition, according to “La Vie éco” (a weekly francophone Moroccan independent newspaper), “the system grants a 25% reduction for the second child, 50% for the third child and 75% for the fourth child and more”.
The French school: the most famous
The network of French educational institutions in Morocco “is undoubtedly the densest in the world”, according to the website of the French Embassy in Morocco. It has nearly 31,500 students, more than 60% of whom are Moroccan, in schools covering Morocco’s main cities at all levels of education. Twenty-three of these schools are under the responsibility of the Agency for French Education Abroad and seven of them of the ”Office scolaire universitaire et international” (Osui) and are located in the main cities of the Kingdom of Morocco.
Depending on the entry-level, it will cost a child between 41,030 and 46,180 dirhams [between 3,900 and 4,300 euros, so about 4,300 and 4,800 U.S. dollars] for the year 2016-2017, a slight increase compared to 2015, says Claude Thoinet, the principal of Lyautey high school (middle and high school) which is a member of the AEFE network, one of the two major French education networks in Morocco.
The school, therefore, offers training in line with the programs in France but also an opening to the language and the host country. According to the principal of Lyautey High School, a member of the AEFE network:
This, therefore, implies respect for the values transmitted by French national education, but also respect for the place that the Arabic language and Moroccan culture must-have. Cultural projects, sometimes in partnership with Moroccan schools, visits, cultural or sports or economic stays allow this essential opening to the world around our students.”
Similarly, enrolled students have the opportunity to continue their studies in France.
The Belgian school
The French and Belgian systems are on the same price ranges. The Belgian school in Casablanca has been open since 2014 and welcomes nearly 700 students from 2.5 to 18 years old according to ”La Vie éco”. To register, Moroccan students must pay a first registration fee of 35,000 dirhams [ about 3,200 euros and 3,600 U.S. dollars] with a 20% discount for the second child and a 30% discount thereafter. It then varies from 5,000 dirhams to 7,000 dirhams [ so from about 650 to 460 euros and 520 to 720 U.S. dollars] from the second year of registration. Tuition fees are 47,000 dirhams for kindergarten [about 4,300 euros and 4,800 U.S. dollars], 57,000 dirhams for primary school [about 5,200 euros and 5,900 U.S. dollars] and 67,000 dirhams for high school [about 6,100 euros and 6,900 U.S. dollars], according to the rates established in 2014. The school officials were contacted several times and could not be reached.
The American school: the most expensive
American schools remain the most expensive. Aimed primarily at the children of American diplomatic personnel, these schools now have 80 to 90% Moroccan children in their classes, according to ”La Vie éco”. Their prices are set at 64,170 dirhams per year for kindergarten [about 6,000 euros and 6,700 U.S. dollars], 110,745 dirhams for primary school [about 10,400 euros and 11,500 U.S. dollars], 129,375 dirhams for middle school [about 12,200 euros and 13,500 U.S. dollars] and 134,550 dirhams for high school [about 12,600 euros and 13,900 U.S. dollars], according to the same source. “The first advantage of the American school is English. Mastering a third language while knowing that in Morocco we already speak Arabic and French,” says a former student of the American school.
The end of high school is sanctioned by the equivalent of two diplomas: a diploma recognized in European universities and another recognized in the United States. The American school in Casablanca is accredited by an American association NEASC (New England Association of Schools & Colleges).
The school diploma is therefore equivalent to a high school diploma in the United States and at the same time students spend an international baccalaureate, which is the standard all over the world and opens the door to colleges in any country.”
In addition to these advantages, the American system introduces the student to the project system.
We were taught at an early age to do research for projects. The grades are therefore not only dependent on the exams, they also take into account independent projects, the effort that has been put into the classroom and several other factors that lead the student to become as independent as possible, which I have not noticed in my friends or relatives in French schools.”
The British school: the latest arrival
For the latest foreign school in Morocco, which opens its doors in the 2016-2017 school year, the fees for a first registration amount to 40,000 dirhams [about 3,700 euros and 4,100 U.S. dollars] and the re-registrations are 6,000 dirhams [about 560 euros and 620 U.S. dollars] in the following years. Tuition fees start at 66,096 dirhams [about 6200 euros and 6800 U.S. dollars].
Many features distinguish this system, such as academic rigour and discipline, personalized follow-up of students, the importance of a value system that is an integral part of training, comprehensive education, which includes the arts, sport and personal development, or the integration of learning technologies such as Google for Education.”
The British system is also characterized by its “active learning approach and its own specific features, based on collaboration, creativity, and new technologies”. The school integrates British higher education. It is not excluded that the student may integrate other education systems if he or she so wishes.
Similarly, according to the British school, the completion of British secondary education is sanctioned by the GCSE A Level (General Certificate of Secondary Education). The certificate (equivalent to the baccalaureate) “enjoys great international prestige, it gives access to the most prestigious international universities.