The Casablanca Declaration: Unions denounce the privatisation of education

Education International’s Member Organisations in Morocco have declared their intention to intensify their united struggle against privatisation to ensure free public education for all.

The Casablanca Declaration is the culmination of 2 days of work from 7-8 March, that brought together trade union leaders in Morocco to discuss the work EI is carrying out in its Global Response programme to tackle the growing commercialisation and privatisation of education.

An attack on the profession

Trade unions in Morocco have been active in their campaign efforts against the privatisation of education over the last number of years as public education and the profession have been under sustained attack.

Inspired by the World Bank’s privatisation programmes, Morocco’s government has been steadily retreating from its obligation as a guarantor and provider of public education aiding and abetting the privatisation of education.

As part of the it’s privatisation strategy, the government of Morocco has abandoned permanency of employment for teachers. Today, almost 30% of teachers are precariously employed.  Not only does this undermine quality education, it also designed to weaken the unions.

A call for funding and public service

In its criticism of privatisation, the Casablanca Declaration also focuses on the Education Outcomes Fund, (EOF). which has Morocco in its sight as a target country. The EOF contributes to the commercialisation and commodification of education using tax-funded aid budgets to exclusively support private actors and investors, who then are able to profit from the provision of privately operated programs for their own private profit. In addition to Morocco, other countries that are being targeted by the EOF include Burkina Faso, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Morocco, Nigeria, Palestine, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

David Edwards, General Secretary of EI, has underlined that “the Casablanca Declaration is a call on the government of Morocco to reject the dictates of international financing institutions and fulfil its obligation to ensure inclusive and equitable quality free public education consistent with Sustainable Development Goal 4.”

EI will commission independent research to examine the full extent of privatisation in education in Morocco. The research to be released in December 2019 will be used as the basis for the development of the on-going national campaign waged by Morocco’s education unions in defence of quality public education.

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