In 1963, compulsory schooling was introduced. The
compulsory school covers six plus three years and starts at
the age of six. The primary school covers about 90% of the
pupils and the secondary school just over a third. Many
children discontinue schooling because they are forced to
contribute to the family's living. Teaching languages are
Arabic in primary school and Arabic and French at higher
levels. The latter are, with few exceptions, only in the
larger cities. The state schools do not cover the need, and
beside them are private and foreign (French) schools. In
2008, 26% of government spending went to education. See TOPSCHOOLSINTHEUSA for TOEFL, ACT, SAT testing locations and high school codes in Morocco.
Of the adult population, 56% are estimated to be literate
(2009). However, the differences are large between different
age groups and between the sexes; About 80% of young people
are literate, and women's literacy is significantly poorer
than men's (44% versus 69%).
Morocco has 14 state universities; the largest is Hassan
II in Casablanca, and al-Qarawiyin in Fès (founded 859) is
considered the world's oldest. Many university students
apply for higher education abroad, especially to France.
With the stagnation of the war, signs of internal
contradictions in the army emerged at the beginning of 1983.
The military crisis became public with the assassination of
General Ahmed Dlimi, commander-in-chief of the Royal Armed
Forces, who died under mysterious circumstances after making
contacts in Europe. ending the war in the Sahara.
On June 10, 1983, the Moroccans went to the polls to
elect 15,492 city council members across the country.
According to international election observers, the census
figures of the government were manipulated. The opposition
on the left criticized the scam and accused King Hassan II
of disregarding popular will.
In 1984, the Democratic Arab Saharaui Republic (RASD)
became a member of the African unity organization OAU.
Morocco responded by withdrawing from the OAU. RASD had been
proclaimed by partisans from Frente Polisario in the former
Spanish Sahara in 1976.
As the top religious representative, the Moroccan king
began to worry about the emergence of new Islamic currents
that are expanding across the Arab world. For this reason,
King Hassan increased the administrative means to strengthen
the power of ulemas' and other religious
In 1987, the Moroccan monarch suggested to Spanish King
Juan Carlos that the governments of both countries set up an
"analysis group" to investigate the future of Ceuta and
Melilla. But the proposal was not welcomed in Spain,
insisting on the "historical character" of the Spanish
presence in Ceuta and Melilla.
After 12 years of tensions, in May 1988, Morocco and
Algeria re-established diplomatic relations, thanks to
mediation from Saudi Arabia and Tunisia. The reason for the
breakdown of relations had been the war in the Sahara, with
Algeria openly supporting the Saharaui nationalists from the
start. The approximation between the countries enabled the
construction of a gas pipeline that unites both countries
with Europe across the Strait of Gibraltar. From 1995, a
joint Algerian-Moroccan company headquartered in Rabat was
made responsible for the transport of 10-15 billion m 3
of Algerian gas annually.
The number of unemployed in Morocco is increasing day by
day. Each year, 1 million people leave rural areas and move
into the city, which has drastically worsened the housing
situation, water supply, renovation and other services. This
in turn increases emigration towards Europe. In October 1992
alone, 800 Moroccans were arrested in Tarifa, southern
Spain, when they illegally tried to enter the country.
In 1992, a drastic "adjustment" of the economy took
place. The government deficit had been reduced from 10% of
the budget in the 80s to 3.2% in 92. The trade balance was
in equilibrium and foreign exchange reserves were increased.