There is a 9-year compulsory school for children between 6 and 15 years. In 2001, 88% of the relevant age group attended primary school. The high school is 6 years old (3 + 3). In 2001, 30% of the age group went to high school. Arabic is the language of instruction. French, English and Spanish are the most common foreign languages. The country has 11 universities and several specialized colleges and grandes ecoles. According to UNESCO, 58% of the adult population were illiterate in 2001 (55% of men, 60% of women). Morocco is said to have the world’s oldest university, the Islamic University of al-Qarawiyin in Fès, founded 859, reorganized in 1963.
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The United Nations International Office for the Control of Drugs has criticized the fact that many farmers in countries such as Morocco have started growing opium poppies and coca, which are raw materials for the production of heroin and cocaine respectively.
The Sahara rapprochement between Algeria and Morocco opened the door to a negotiated settlement of the conflict based on a UN-led referendum in which Western Sahara’s people had to choose between independence or inclusion in Morocco. But the Moroccan government has since delayed the process in confidence in the final collapse of the liberation movement Polisario.
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Torture and devastation are commonplace for not only the Saharui people but also for the Moroccan population. Nubier Amauí, secretary general of the Democratic Workers’ Federation, was sentenced to 2 years in prison for defamation by the Moroccan government. He was released several months later after the opposition victory in parliament. In 1993, the Moroccan human rights organization reported the existence of 750 political prisoners.
In August 1992, King Hassan replaced Prime Minister Azedine Laraki’s government and appointed a new leader led by Mohamed Karim Lamrani, who was head of government in the period 1971-83. The government printed a referendum on a new constitution that gave increased powers to parliament. In any case, the king has the right to appoint the prime minister.
In the first election following the constitutional amendment in June 1993, the opposition won 99 of the 222 seats against the 74 party of the ruling party. Two months later in Casablanca, King Hassan in spectacular form inaugurated one of the world’s largest mosques. It had cost 536 million. dollars to build.
Despite the constitutional change, the king’s political influence was still enormous, and in May 1994 he appointed one of his family members to Prime Minister, Abd al-Latif Filali. In August, the King made a surprising call for “the integration of the Berber language and culture into national life”.
The country’s economic situation deteriorated abruptly in 1995, when rainfall did not reduce the harvest to one-sixth of what it was the year before. Gross domestic product, which had grown by 12% in 1994, fell 4% in 95. After difficult negotiations, Morocco and the EU signed a new cooperation agreement in November.
The government announced in early 1996 that it would put a number of reforms to the constitution into a referendum. The change was basically to form a legislative two-chamber system and was adopted in September. The king retains the right to dissolve the chambers. The privatizations continued with the sale of some public companies.
In September 1997, Morocco and Polisario signed an agreement to revive the Western Sahara peace plan, exchange of prisoners, release of political detainees, permit refugees to return and accommodation of the troops. Furthermore, the agreement provided for a referendum on the future of Western Sahara – self-determination or incorporation into Morocco.
In the November 1997 elections, a coalition consisting of 4 opposition parties won 102 of Parliament’s 325 seats. The coalition included The Socialist Union of the Popular Forces (USFP), which accounted for 57 seats and the Independence Party with 32. Right-wing Alliance Wifaq supporting the government got 100, including the Constitutional Union (UC) with 50. The government’s central alliance partners got 97 seats, the National Union of Independents with 46. This gave the government broad parliamentary support.