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  International Literacy Day
Morocco determined to eradicate illiteracy
  In October 2003, the king launched a nation-wide campaign against illiteracy under the theme “Massirat Nour” (Ph.: Alef).
Morocco celebrates on Tuesday the International Literacy Day with about 3,877,950 people overcoming the illiteracy handicap over the last seven years.

Since the launch of literacy programmes seven years ago, the number of beneficiaries, mainly women, has increasingly grown. It rose from 286,425 during 2002-2003 academic year to over 656,088 in 2008-2009.

These results show Morocco's determination to eradicate illiteracy, as it has implemented a new strategy aiming at reducing the overall illiteracy rate of people above 10 years old to less than 20% in 2010 and almost eradicating it by the year 2015.

In October 2003, the king launched a nation-wide campaign against illiteracy under the theme “Massirat Nour” (a March towards the light), as part of a larger programme for the fight against poverty, exclusion and marginalisation.

The ministry in charge thus tried to go beyond the classroom, availing itself of information technology and the internet, and establishing partnerships with local associations.

The latest effort, in this respect, is a project called “let's learn Arabic: the treasure of words”, which is a TV programme of 150 lessons that will be broadcast as of September on two of the national channels “Arrabia” and “Al Aoula”, and the Italian one “Rai Uno”.

In fact, these efforts seem to have paid off, as they have been internationally recognised for the results they have achieved.

In 2006, the kingdom was awarded the UNESCO's “Confucius Prize” of Literacy for an innovative programme specifically designed for adolescents in rural areas.

And in 2001, the same organisation granted the “Malcolm Adiseshiah Award” to Morocco's fisheries department for enabling fishermen to access to better employment opportunities, through literacy and vocational training programmes.

However, this international literacy day needs to be seen as an opportunity for Moroccan authorities to examine the progress made, and explore the strong and week points in the strategies followed in this field in order to do better.
  By CMC
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