Young Moroccans under the age of 15 make up 27% of Morocco’s population while those between the ages of 15 and 24 make up 18%.
In addition to Morocco’s median age of 29.5 years, the percentages give the country an advantage of strong human capital and a prosperous future.
However, young Moroccans still face many challenges that often prohibit them from moving forward and explore their full potentials to develop their country.
These challenges also affect Morocco’s youths’ confidence and self-esteem, which lead to many missed opportunities and often mental issues such as anxiety, hopelessness, and depression.
These challenges are not easily fixed and need intensive observation and study to determine the errors to come up with solutions and make up the necessary changes.
Until then, young Moroccans are learning to be more autonomous to live with these challenges and are chasing after their goals and dream one step at a time.
Learning about and identifying some of these challenges Moroccans face can be a little helpful to have more knowledge about what you go or will go through in your youth years and maybe even prepare you to overcome these obstacles.
Some of these challenges young Moroccans face are:
Despite the multiple reforms in Moroccan education since the kingdom’s independence, the educational field still faces many issues that hinder young people’s learning process.
In 2014, UNESCO published a report on the quality of the world’s education systems that ranked Morocco among the 21 countries suffering from poor education.
Many elements take part in the low quality of the Moroccan educational system including lack of teachers that result in overcrowded classrooms and the inability to transfer the information to each student effectively.
A large number of public schools and universities in Morocco don’t have access to the internet as well as have a lack of technological devices that facilitate the learning process and motivate students to be more engaged, such as laptops, tablets, data-show, and printing machines.
The thing that brings us to the division of Morocco’s educations lives between the public and private sector and the problems that are accompanied by the sectors’ differences.
Private schools are more equipped with all types of tools that facilitate the teaching and learning process with more devoted teachers.
On the other hand, students in public schools often end up falling into two different categories, one where the student is not motivated due to the challenging environment and others that build up a strong resilience that helps them move forward in life despite the challenges.
If we are talking about traveling within Morocco, the country has a relatively developed transportation system that varies between trains, busses, rental cars, taxies, and even planes.
However, young Moroccans still face the challenges that come with daily transit and the unavailability of transport.
Due to shortage of buses Students in Morocco either in elementary school, high school, or universities often have to wait for a long time, sometimes hours, for a bus that will take them to school, which often leads to tardiness or absentees.
Students in rural regions struggle the most because of the absence of transport and the poor environment.
Sometimes students are obliged to take taxies or private transportation which can cost a lot and not many students can afford it.
Morocco’s official languages are standard Arabic and Tamazight. Tamazight is one of the native languages in Morocco and the first original one with its three dialects that are spoken by Moroccan Amazigh.
Morocco’s other native language is Moroccan Arabic (Darija), which is spoken by most Moroccans. Moroccan Amazigh often knows both Tamazight and Darija but not always.
Due to French and Spanish imperialism, most Moroccans today can fluently speak French while Moroccans in northern regions of the kingdom can fluently speak Spanish.
Modern Standard Arabic and French are thought in schools starting primary school, while English is thought in secondary school and high school, Spanish is thought instead of English in few schools.
Young Moroccan English-speakers are more present today due to Americanization and English’s dominant position in the world.
Moroccans’ multilingualism might be perceived as a good advantage and that is true in a way. Mastering more than two languages helps you in your education and career, it also allows you to learn other languages faster.
However, being faced with multiple languages can be confusing and many Moroccans end up not mastering any of these languages properly.
Two main reasons that prevent young Moroccans from mastering these languages are the government repeatedly changing the language of teaching from French to Arabic and from Arabic to French, and the student’s confusion on what language is most important.
Lack of educational and career guidance
Due to the lack of strong educational and career guidance in Morocco, a lot of young people end up choosing certain majors in high school and university that they are not necessarily interested in.
These poor choices often lead to low performance which can be discouraging in the long term. Young students need the necessary guidance that will help assess their performance and progress.
Guidance in secondary schools is important because it helps each individual define and explore the fields they perform better in and gives them the necessary advice that will help shape their individuality and develop their skills.
In high school, guidance can also give students suggestions regarding their future careers based on their personal skills and academic performances, which will help facilitate their decision-making when choosing a major in college and eventually a career.
Unprepared for the professional world
Aside from the fact that it is getting harder and harder for recent graduates to find suitable employment, Moroccan universities do not prepare these young graduates for the professional world.
New graduates that do find suitable employment either fail to keep the job or face many challenges that they were not prepared for.
Most universities around the world, including Moroccan universities, are aimed to provide the students with information and knowledge and develop their hard skills.
However, today in the professional world, employers don’t only look for employers with strong technical abilities but prefer hiring candidates with soft skills and great interpersonal skills such as flexibility, communication skills, motivation, manners, creativity, and time management.
These soft skills are what promote employees and differentiate them from others. These skills are also not thought in universities but can be developed through certain techniques and activities.
Unfortunately, there are many types of inequality in Morocco. There is gender inequality, social inequality, age inequality, and nepotism.
In 2019 the higher planning commission in Morocco (HCP) revealed that unemployment is quite high among young people between the ages of 15 to 24 with a rate of 26.7% compared to 7% among people above 25 years old.
HCP’s statistic also disclosed the unemployment rate among women that reached 13% compared to 8% among well, as well as diploma holders’ unemployment rate of 15.5% compared to 3.7% among people with no degree.
In an interview with The Guardian, former minister of labor and social affairs, Abdeslam Seddiki talked about youth unemployment and inequality pointing out several important aspects.
“In the short run, the lack of access to the labor market has driven up poverty and inequality, despite a significant rollout of social services,” said Seddiki in the interview
“Besides the risk of political unrest, the worst effect is the loss of human capital associated with the under-utilization of human resources. As the lack of access to income is the main driver of poverty, we may see an increase in inequality,” he continued.
Despite the numerous challenges young Moroccans face in their lives in Morocco, many have managed to overcome these hurdles and become future leaders occupying important roles in our society.