Education Minister: We Have No Power Over Moroccan Private Schools’ Fees

Amzazi made the comments in response to complaints from students’ parents who were forced to pay higher fees this year. Photo credit: MAP

Morocco’s Ministry of Education does not have any legal right to intervene directly on the fees of Moroccan private schools, Minister of Education Saaid Amzazi announced.

Amzazi made the comment after many private schools in Morocco increased their fees in the 2020-2021 school year and students’ parents complained.

The minister gave the statement on Tuesday before the House of Councillors in response to a question about the issue.

According to Amzazi, many variables dictate the fees of private schools, including the law of supply and demand, which makes it difficult for the ministry to intervene.

The minister also said that education fees in Moroccan private schools vary depending on the services they provide, such as student transportation, extracurricular activities, and catering.

Parents who complained about the increase in fees, however, claimed there was no change in services that would justify the increase between 2019 and 2020. Some schools, on the other hand, justified the increased fees with the additional disinfection and safety measures that came along with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students enrolled in private schools represent 14.44% of the total number of students in Morocco, according to Amzazi.

In the 2020-2021 school year, Moroccan private schools attracted over 1.1 million students, but the pandemic is significantly altering parents’ school choice.

Read also: Migration to Public Schools Worries Private Institutions in Morocco

Amzazi said that his department attaches great importance to the private education sector. The Ministry of Education is keen to make it more organized, he added, but it does not currently have any legal authority to protect parents from exorbitant tuition fees.

The ministry has tried to mediate between parents’ associations and private schools, Amzazi recalled, which “reduced the disputes between families and some private institutions.”

In the future, however, a legal framework will prevent Moroccan private schools from charging exorbitant prices, he said.

The ministry is currently working on a draft law that will put Moroccan private schools in different categories. Each category will have a maximal education fee.

The criteria the ministry will use in defining the categories include the services provided, the facilities and infrastructure, the human resources, and the percentage of students who benefit from free education because of their socio-economic situation.