Faculté de gouvernance
sciences économiques & sociales

Africa Institute for Research
in Economics and Social Sciences


Literacy & maths in moroccan schools

Home / Literacy & maths in moroccan schools

The results of the Moroccan education system regarding writing, reading and counting remain unsatisfactory, despite the facts that the state has put in recent years important means to improve it. The goals of this three-year research project is, firstly, to draw a diagnosis of the difficulties encountered by public policies concerning education, and more specifically, young children learning reading, writing and counting in Arabic. Secondly, the project aims at adapting, creating and testing new learning activities and curriculum in Moroccan 1st and 2nd grades based on research. Finally, this project will have a focus on teacher’s community of knowledge in order to foster long lasting changes in Moroccan teachers’ practices.


Research Leads

A Cross-Method Approach

Our multidisciplinary team will be able to combine methods from the evidence-based movement in education (e.g. pre/post test, randomized controlled trials), from sociology and ethnography (e.g. classroom observations, interviews), and from economics (e.g. econometrics, impact analysis).

Co-construction of activities with teachers

The learning activities that will be tested in Moroccan schools are going to be adapted/created in close collaboration with a small group of local primary schools’ teachers. Improving each parts of a new curriculum pilots after pilots in classrooms.

Impact analysis

Micro and macro levels. Children will be followed for at least two years in to observe the long-lasting impact   of the new educational practices. An impact analysis of the two last decades education policy in Morocco will also be carried out.


Fundamental research on learning how to read and write in Arabic

The project proposes to conduct experimental comparison between different types of cognitive training specially adapted to the learning to read in Arabic.

The results of this research will be crucial to decide guidelines for teachers and to create classroom activities. In particular because international research on reading in Arabic are scarce, despite the specificity of the Arabic language.


Inspired from ACE-Arithmécole Project (experimented in France since 2012) From a multidisciplinary team of researchers in education, combining methods from cognitive psychology and didactics.
+ 800 trained professors
+ 20 000 Arithmécole students

The aim of this project was to create a research-based curriculum improving 1st graders’ maths skills overall and reducing de gap between the most and less advanced pupils.

Developing an abstract number sense based on concrete situations.
Ex: Trying to predict dices with fingers.

Use of different number representation systems and their correspondence.

Increase children’s confidence in their ability by making them produce mathematics from what they already master, with a “math inquiry” spirit.

Diverse and evolutive material with short but very frequent trainings.

Make children practice mathematics as a modelisation of the world.

Main results