Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Moroccan News Briefs #139

A Round up of Moroccan News

A Congress Centre for Fez
Le Economiste is reporting that he project to build a congress centre of Fez is about to be launched. With a projected budget of 100 million DH, the building will have a capacity of 5,000 places. It will be carried out by the Regional Council in partnership with the town hall and the prefecture, in addition to the departments of the Interior, Industry and Housing.

"This project will put Fez on the chessboard of congress and business cities," said Yassir Jawhar, deputy chairman of CRT Fez. Meanwhile, Said Zniber, wali of the region, said that "the congress center of the University Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdallah, located near the CHU Hassan II is already operational." "The centre has a capacity of 1,200 seats and a dozen conference rooms," said the wali.

Marrakech World Folklore Days

From March 28 to 31 the International Forum of World Cultures "World Folklore Days" will take place in Marrakech.

This 2nd edition will host more than 36 folkloric troupes, representing more than 870 artists from 28 different countries. The Heritage and Folklore Association, whose mission is to transmit Moroccan cultural identity not only to the country's young people but also to foreigners, : organising the 2nd Edition of the World Folklore Festival. "World Folkore Days".

Performers from Africa, Europe, Asia, America Oceania will have an opportunity to expose their heritage amidst the sumptuous scenes of the core of African Culture: Morocco.

Performers will come from many different countries: France, Spain, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Australia, Russia, Switzerland, Austria, Norway, Finland, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Portugal, Algeria, Senegal, Mali, Ghana, Taiwan, Indonesia, Egypt, Greece, Latvia, Latvia, Honduras, Colombia ... and more.

Tourism Update
A total of 12.3 million tourists visited Morocco last year, an increase of 8.3% compared to 2017 (+ 14% for foreign tourists and + 2% for Moroccans residing abroad), according to the Tourism Observatory.

The main issuing markets posted an increase in terms of arrivals in 2018, in particular Italy and Germany (+ 15% and + 10% respectively), followed by France and Spain (+ 8% and + 6% respectively).

The two tourist hubs Marrakech and Agadir alone generated 60% of the total nights at the end of December 2018.

These two destinations, according to the observatory, showed respective increases of 10% and 8%, while the other destinations have performed well, in particular, Fez (+ 16%), Rabat (+ 10%) and Tangier (+ 9%).

In addition, domestic consumption, which includes receptive tourism (non-resident tourists: foreigners and Moroccans living in Morocco) and domestic tourism (resident tourists staying in Morocco outside their usual environment), is estimated at 131.7 billion dirhams (MMDH), an increase of 6% compared to 2017.

It is made up of total foreign exchange receipts generated by inbound tourism (estimated at 90.7 billion dirhams, of which 73.15 million dirhams of travel receipts) and revenues generated by domestic tourism (41 billion dirhams).

Morocco's Language Debate Continues
Morocco World News is reporting that the Conference of University Presidents (CPU) has said Moroccan schools should not teach science in Arabic, weighing into the intensifying political debate on which language should be used to teach science in Morocco.

While some scholars, teachers, and politicians prefer Arabic as a language of instruction, others believe that French and English should be given preference in teaching science.

On March 8, the CPU issued a statement on the question.

CPU acknowledged the recent increase of debates in Morocco on the language of instruction at schools.

“The debate crystallises and intensifies on the language of science in primary and secondary education.”

In universities, however, the question of teaching scientific and technical subjects in Arabic does not arise, because they are taught in French. The statement also remarks that Moroccan universities are increasingly seeing initiatives to introduce English as a language of instruction for science.

The CPU, representing all Moroccan universities, warned that students in public schools are experiencing a “real linguistic divide between high school and university.”

French, English must be used in primary, secondary schools

While students in Morocco study science in Arabic from primary school to high school, they study the same subjects in French in universities. Students who attended government schools, therefore, find it difficult to keep up with courses in French at universities.

The CPU finds it unfair for students from public schools and is urging for primary, secondary, and high schools to use foreign languages in teaching science to bridge the divide.

The CPU argued that 30 percent of students with baccalaureate science degrees have to pursue non-science majors because of the language barrier.

While acknowledging the importance of Arabic and Tamazight (Berber) in Morocco, CPU said that “technology, science, and knowledge are produced in foreign languages, especially English and French.”

“It is not possible, in the current situation to have mastery of information, digitisation, artificial intelligence, and technologies related to aviations, cars, and energies without being able to use these languages.”

Get young people ready for world’s expectations

The statement emphasised the need to prepare future generations to cope with the rapid development of professions, of which it said “80 percent” will be evolving in the near future.

Decades after independence from France, the French language is still dominant in Morocco. Some Moroccans are angry French is still the dominant foreign language, believing that English should take its place.

Moroccan scholar Abderrahim Elalam told Morocco World News that English is emerging in Morocco.

Moroccan Photograph Wins Major Prize
A photograph taken in Morocco has won a contest launched by the British version of the magazine National Geographic Traveler dedicated to travel photographers ("Travel Photographer of the Year"). The photo taken in the medina of Marrakech won the prize for "best photography" of the year in the "People" category.

Shot by photographer Justin Cliffe, this photo shows a man dyeing wool in a Marrakech souk. Describing his photograph, the author explains that one of the owners of a fabric shop in the ocher city showed him this "almost apocalyptic" scene of a worker dyeing wool. "It was dirty, hot and a pungent smell filled the air,"


No comments: