One Moroccan in three is illiterate, report says

UN, one in 10 lives with less than 2 dollars a day

16 October, 15:18

    A Morrocan saleswoman takes a nap amidst hand made hats and bags she sells at Jamma el Fna in Marrakech [ARCHIVE MATERIAL 20080608 ] A Morrocan saleswoman takes a nap amidst hand made hats and bags she sells at Jamma el Fna in Marrakech [ARCHIVE MATERIAL 20080608 ]

    (ANSAmed) - RABAT, OCTOBER 16 - The sixth general census in Morocco has revealed that eight and a half million people are illiterate. Almost 32% of the population above 10 years of age are unable to read and write, according to a report drafted by HCP, the high commissioner for the project of statistical studies on the population. The study also noted that illiteracy has gone down only 18.7% in 10 years.

    The government's plan is to eradicate the problem by 2024 but NGOs and experts are more cautious.

    The number of participants in ministerial programs promoting literacy are growing with almost 750,000 reportedly deciding to learn how to read and write between 2014 and 2015. In addition, 250,000 people have attended courses held at mosques. And NGOs have also registered a 56% increase of students in classes to learn language basics (453,337 in 2015 against 290,398 the previous year). Associations and state programs mean to double the number of those aged between 16 and 24, targeting young illiterates in particular.

    But the great number of those who don't know how to read and write is constantly fueled by the young who drop out of school and the education system is unable to do anything to help them.

    Illiteracy is higher in rural rather than urban areas. In 2014, almost half of the rural population (47.7%) was illiterate against 22.2% in cities. The gender gap is also high: over 60% of women living in the country is illiterate against 35.2% of men; in the urban context, the ratio is 30.5% to 13%.

    One Moroccan in 10 lives with less than 19 dirhams a day, according to the 2015 United Nations report on food and farming: 3.6 million people are living in Morocco with less than two dollars a day.

    And 4.5% of children, especially in rural areas, are malnourished. Moreover, only 36.8% of Moroccans benefit from social services. The UN concluded its report calling for national policies promoting aid and support ''to progressively free people from poverty and hunger''. (ANSAmed)

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