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HomeCountriesNorth Africa › Morocco

Morocco Country AET Profile

About Morocco

Projected adult illiteracy rates for the year 2000 stand at 51.1% (males, 38.1%; females, 64.0%). In efforts to combat illiteracy, the king has established learning centers in over 100 mosques where citizens between the ages of 15 and 45 can receive literacy courses on Islam, civic educations, and hygiene. The general school system includes modern secular public institutions, traditional religious schools, and private schools. As of 1999, public expenditure on education was estimated at 4.9% of GDP.

Morocco has six universities. Al-Qarawiyin University at Fès, founded in 859, is reputed to be the oldest university in the world; it was reorganized in 1962–63 as an Islamic university, supervised by the Ministry of Education. The first modern Moroccan university, the University of Rabat (now the Muhammad V University), was opened in 1957. Other universities are Muhammad bin Abdallah (founded 1974), in Fès; Hassan II (1975), Casablanca; Cadi Ayyad (1978), Marrakech; and Muhammad I (1978), Oujda. There are about two dozen colleges and conservatories. In 1997, all institutions of higher education had a combined total of 311,743 students, 41% of whom were female.

Some 9,895,000 ha (24,451,000 acres), or 22.1% of the total land area, is arable (excluding Western Sahara). About 43% of arable land is devoted to cereals, 7% to plantation crops (olives, almonds, citrus, grapes, dates), 3% to pulses, 2% to forage, 2% to vegetables, 2% to industrial crops (sugar beets, sugar cane, cotton) and oilseeds, and 42% was fallow. The bulk of the indigenous population carries out traditional subsistence farming on plots of less than five hectares (12 acres). A temperate climate and sufficient precipitation are especially conducive to agricultural development in the northwest. In 2001, agriculture (together with forestry and fishing) accounted for 16% of GDP.

Morocco is essentially self-sufficient in food production. Recently, an irregularity in rainfall has necessitated the importation of grains during drought years. As a result of the worst drought in decades, Morocco's cereal crop in 1995 was only one quarter of the average annual amount during the previous 10 years. Pulse, vegetable, and citrus production were also devastated. However, in 1996 Morocco received the highest levels of rainfall in 30 years, leading to record grain production. The principal export crops are citrus fruits and vegetables. The estimated output of principal crops (in thousands of tons) in 1999 was as follows: sugar beets, 3,233; wheat, 2,154; barley, 1,474; sugarcane, 1,373; tomatoes, 857; potatoes, 1,148; oranges, 874; olives, 386; corn, 136; broad beans, 100; garbanzos, 28; sunflowers, 49; and peanuts, 40.

Institutions in Morocco

Reports on Morocco
Morocco - Current Student Enrolment and Academic Staffing



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