Cultureand Education in Morocco
Cultureand Education in Morocco
Thereare different ways in which the Moroccans express themselves. Some ofthe things that say that you are in indeed in Morocco are carpets,clothing, jewelry, ceramics, carvings, paintings, and calligraphy.The country even holds an international art festival to showcasetheir talents to the outside world. The festival takes place once ayear. It would be advisable to buy a piece of the local artwork ifyou ever happen to visit the country. Your purchase would be avaluable memento while at the same time you would impact the lives ofthe people who are destitute.
Oneof the things that strike a first-time visitor in Morocco is the waythey bargain while shopping. The people haggle quite well during alltheir purchases (Ennaji, 2005). Making friends is not hard by thosewho are courteous, but it would be crucial to master some of thelocal customs. For example, one should take off their shoes as theyenter houses. It is important for a visitor to observe the behaviorsof their host so that they don`t embarrass themselves. During visitsin the urban areas, a gift of some sort would be highly appreciated.However it does not have to be an expensive gift, as pastries, orsome small amounts of sugar would be appreciated. On the other hand,if one is visiting the countryside, a live chicken would beappreciated by the hosting family. The home invitations in thecountry offer the best opportunities to sample local dishes. The useof hands to eat is the standard behavior. If one is invited for ameal, it is advisable to use the right hand as the left one isemployed in the toilet (Wagner, 1993).
Themosque is considered a very holy place and therefore non-Muslims arenot invited. It is completely prohibited to visit mosques if one isnot a Muslim. As a visitor to the country, it would be advisable toask for permission before taking photographs of the local people.Taking someone`s photo without their permission is quite offensiveespecially in the rural areas. Most significant sites are availablefor viewing by the public at a fee. Visitors are also allowed toobserve individual celebrations including the ‘Imichal` weddingfair.
Thegeneral practice in the country is that men take to the streets whilethe women take care for their homes. The implication is that it ishard to find women having fun in the restaurants. A female visitorwho strikes a friendship would be invited to the friend`s home for abath popularly known as ‘Hamman’ (Choukr-Allah, 2000). The showeris meant to allow further associations and is a sign of friendship.On the other hand, a man who strikes a friendship is invited to thecafé for tea or a meal. Moroccan culture could be quite exciting,and a visit to the country would be a memorable experience. Thepeople are quite friendly while the place is colorful. Hospitality ispart of the culture and hence a visitor who has the right attitudewould strike friendship anywhere.In all the aspects of the life of aMoroccan, the status of men is higher than that of women. Women aresubjected to privacy in the homes while those who appear in public oron the streets are subjected to a lot of ridicule by the men. Theworship in the mosques is reserved for men, and all the Muslimleaders are males. On marriage issues, the virginity of a woman ishighly valued as it determines the status of her wedding. Ironically,the male sexual activity before marriage is considered normal.
Likein most of the Arabic nations, the education level in Morocco isaverage. The schools lack the capacity to match the skills acquiredwith the developmental needs of the country. Therefore, there existsa gap that the education has not been able to fill. However, theadvancement of technology has been experienced in the country justlike it has happened in several countries around the world.
Therehave been several attempts to improve the quality of education inMorocco to meet the demands of the job market. The goal, however, hasnot been achieved, and there have been a lot of reforms in thecountry`s higher education sector, aimed at enhancing the quality tomake it more relevant to the dynamisms of the economy (Diyen, 2004).Currently, there is a growing interest among the students to buildthe English language skills.
Despitea lot of promises by the government to address the concerns of theeducation, reforms in the sector have been slow. Therefore, theproblems of low adult literacy and high youth unemployment stillplague the nation. There is also an acute shortage of the skilledworkers, with the government urging the Moroccan Diaspora communityto return home and assist them in the role of the national building(Diyen, 2004). Despite the fact that at least 95% of all school-agedchildren are enrolled in school, the education is still faced with alot of challenges. The school dropout rates are very high with only53% transition rates from the Middle School to high school, whileonly 15%of those enrolled in the high school complete the course. Thesituation is quite dire. Even those who remain in the schools, thereare small daily attendance rates teacher absenteeism is the order ofthe day while a multilingual culture leads to low literacy levels inthe country. The adult literacy rates stand at 76% for men and 58%for the females (Diyen, 2004).
Itis paramount to mention the fact the literacy rates among the adultsis determined by the devotion of the adults to read and recite theQuran. Most of the research done in the past reveals that the adultsmake the effort to read as an attempt to read and understand theQuran. Most of those who are unable to complete secondary school haveslim chances of securing employment positions. The Literacy levelgaps between men and women are quite huge, which is mainly informedby the cultural orientations of the Moroccan society (Diyen, 2004).The place of the Moroccan woman is in the house, to take care ofchildren and perform the domestic chores.
Fromthe research conducted it has been found out that the Moroccans arefriendly people whose ways of life revolve around the religion. Menare in charge of almost all aspects of life, while the role of thewomen is to take care of the domestic issues and the children. Menare the providers and are the heads of the families.
Theeducation is experiencing a lot of reforms mainly by the government,but the private sector has also played a significant role in the sameendeavor. Changes in the education sector are necessary so that thecurriculum could be improved, and also to increase the enrollmentrates, both at the primary and secondary school levels. As adeveloping nation, it would be correct to say that the development ofeducation is on the right track and that soon, the country wouldachieve its educational goals.
Theculture of the Moroccans is quite flexible and has therefore embracedmodernity in all ways of life. Despite the fact that the people arehighly religious, they are also friendly and relate well with thevisitors. Therefore as an IT entrepreneur interested in outsourcingand doing business with the Moroccan people, it would not be hard toadapt to the culture. The people are friendly and always willing toassist the visitors who are lost or those who just don`t know thedirections. Furthermore, the locals do not coerce foreigners intopracticing the traditions and is, therefore, an open society.
Theeducation may still not be advanced enough, compared with systems inthe developed countries. However, there are youths and otherindividuals who are highly skilled in the areas of informationtechnology, who could be of much use to investors in the field ofinformatics. The literacy levels are quite reasonable and would justrequire a bit of orientation so that they fully participate invarious areas of the computer applications. Therefore, as an investoror a business person in the area of IT, it is quite tenable to dobusiness with the Moroccan people.
Choukr-Allah,R. (2000). Protected culture in Morocco. Mediterranean’sBooks Options,31,9-247.
Diyen,H. (2004). Reform of secondary education in Morocco: challenges andprospects. Prospects,34(2),211-222.
Ennaji,M. (2005). Multilingualism,cultural identity, and education in Morocco.Springer Science & Business Media.
Wagner,D. A. (1993). Literacy,culture and development: Becoming literate in Morocco.Cambridge University Press