An Exchange of Notes and a Loan Agreement between Morocco and Japan, amounting to 22 billion Japanese yen (about 1.6 billion dirhams) for the financing of the Program for the Improvement of the Learning Environment in the Basic Education Sector, were signed Friday in Rabat.
The program was signed by the Minister Delegate to the Minister of Economy and Finance, in charge of the Budget, Fouzi Lekjaa, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan in Morocco, Kuramitsu Hideaki, and the Resident Representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Morocco, Ito Takashi.
It aims to support Morocco in improving the learning environment and reducing disparities in terms of learning in mathematics on three levels, namely within schools, between schools, and between households.
Speaking on this occasion, Lekjaa noted that Morocco has made the education sector a fundamental site of development in recent years. He said that the ministry in charge of the sector is on the way to a real revolution of the education system focusing on quality, performance, the teacher and the environment.
For his part, the Minister of National Education, Preschool and Sports, Chakib Benmoussa, who attended the signing ceremony, said in a statement to MAP, that this agreement comes to accompany the work of reform within the education system and training in terms of quality.
It also helps to build schools, through the support of the state budget, added Benmoussa, noting that this support is part of the roadmap put in place by the government and which is in the consultation phase to achieve objectives by 2026.
For his part, Kuramitsu stressed that the education of young generations forms a constitutive axis of tomorrow’s societies, saying that Japan and Morocco consolidate in this sense their cooperation which aims to improve the performance of the Moroccan education system over the years.
“The support of Japan comes to support the technical cooperation project “Promoting Education with Equity and Quality” (PEEQ) in its two phases which consist in supporting the improvement of the quality and equity of teaching and learning of mathematics at the primary and secondary college levels in the target Regional Academies of Education and Training,” he said.
The JICA Resident Representative in Morocco said that this new cooperation agreement will further strengthen the fruitful and exemplary partnership between the two governments in the field of basic education.
Ito noted, in this context, the crucial place that the education sector occupies in Morocco as well as the strong royal will to promote an inclusive, equitable and quality education.
During the ceremony, Lekjaa, Kuramitsu and Ito welcomed the quality of relations and partnership that bind the two countries and reaffirmed their willingness to work together to consolidate and strengthen them further.
The Program to improve the learning environment in the basic education sector is perfectly in line with the reference frameworks and strategies of the national education sector, namely the strategic vision 2015-2030, the framework law 51-17, and the key axes of the New Development Model.
Since the 2000s, JICA has supported the Kingdom’s efforts in the basic education sector through several instruments. In addition, JICA, which has been based in Morocco for more than 50 years, contributes to various cooperation programs, including yen loan projects, non-reimbursable financial cooperation and technical cooperation, including the sending of Japanese volunteers.
More than 38 concessional loan projects have been granted since 1976 in various sectors (Education, Water, Health, Infrastructure, Agriculture and Marine Fisheries), totaling a budgetary envelope of about 312 billion Japanese yen (about 24 billion dirhams) with the aim of supporting sustainable development, promoting economic competitiveness and contributing to the mitigation of socio-spatial disparities.