During the 4th episode of the 21st Century Morocco Podcast, hosted by Ezzoubeir Jabrane and Gari Sullivan, the Director of the British Council in Morocco, who featured as the guest of the episode, revealed that the Ministry of Education is eager to teach Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in English at university level.
Tony Reilly, whose institution is working closely with the government within the framework of a UK-Moroccan commission, admitted that this is not an easy move and that it requires serious preparation. However, he added, the Moroccan officials “recognize in the 21st century that Morocco is really well-placed with its rich multilingual tradition to add English”
Asked about his recommendation for the ministry if it decides to shift to English as a language of instruction throughout the entire educational system, Reilly said that shifting to English needs serious and strategic planning, adding that “it’s not a light switch”. He further explained that this move requires changing the curricula, training the teachers in sufficient numbers and developing an appropriate pedagogy, warning that “otherwise, the teaching and learning itself can become impaired”
Using Rwanda’s 2008 educational reform that changed the language of education from French to English, Reilly says that although the African country has not reversed the reform, “it has suddenly realized the amount of support that’s required to make a transition from a language of instruction to the other.”
This comes at a time when many schools have begun to consider English as a language of instruction in response to the growing demands of students and parents. Most recently, Mohammed VI University of Health Sciences announced that it will start teaching health sciences in English starting from the upcoming academic year.
Morocco’s Ministry of National Education, Vocational Training, Higher Education and Research signed a partnership with the UK’s Embassy in Morocco and the British Council in January of 2020 to strengthen the collaboration between the two kingdoms in Education.