In 2015, seven out of ten first grade students in Morocco could not read at grade level.

Morocco has achieved nearly universal access to education in the last decade, with net enrollment rates in grade one surpassing 97 percent. However, this seemingly positive statistic hides many challenges that students face in achieving long-term academic success, particularly in early grade reading performance. In 2015, seven out of ten first-grade students in Morocco could not read at grade level. A recent study identified insufficient teacher training and the absence of supplementary reading materials as two of the main factors that prevent students from becoming successful independent readers.


In 2015, USAID partnered with the Ministry of National Education, Vocational Training, Higher Education, and Scientific Research to launch the 30-month Reading for Success – Small-Scale Experimentation activity to develop and test the most effective approaches to strengthen students' Arabic reading skills in targeted primary schools. With the positive results from the pilot phase and building on the data, evidence, and lessons learned, the Ministry of Education decided to implement this approach in grades one through six in all public elementary schools nationwide.

USAID supports the national Reading for Success program by:

  • Developing a NEW ARABIC LANGUAGE CURRICULUM FOR GRADES ONE TO SIX based on the early grade reading principles and highly interactive activities.
  • TRAINING TEACHERS on proven best practices and teaching methods.
  • Creating REMEDIAL AND EXTRA-CURRICULAR READING ACTIVITIES to be implemented in schools and community centers.
  • Designing and conducting FORMATIVE ASSESSMENTS for students in grades one to three.
  • Supporting the Ministry in extending distance learning to deaf and hard of hearing primary schoolers through MOROCCAN SIGN LANGUAGE (MSL) course interpretation.


  • New Arabic language curriculum embracing the early grade reading approach implemented across Morocco for grades one to six.
  • The new reading approach anchored in the education system through its integration into pre-service training programs.
  • 894 inspectors received training to train 93,393 teachers of grades one to six in public and private schools nationwide.
  • 22,446 students in grades one to four in 63 pilot schools use 14,325 supplementary reading books in the classroom and have individual access to diversified and leveled electronic reading materials on the online reading platform.
  • 4,432,229 students in grades one through six are reading at grade level with comprehension using updated instructional materials in 24,358 public and private schools nationwide.
  • Over 72,700 educators trained on implementing evidence-based reading instruction using the new textbooks and teaching and learning materials.
  • Community engagement strengthened through expanded school- and community-based remedial and extra-curricular activities.
  • Distance learning program designed and implemented, targeting all teachers in Morocco.
  • Distance training provided to 131 inspectors and 93 teacher trainers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • More than 4,000 deaf and hard of hearing students in grades one to six reached through the support of the MSL interpretation activity.
  • 66 Ministry evaluation experts equipped with methods to build evaluation capacity in ministry staff nationwide.



  • Creative Associates International, Inc.
  • Management Systems International
  • The University of Oregon


Amina El Abdellaoui, Education Development Specialist,

Two Moroccan students reading from their textbooks
Two students practice sounding out letters in their textbooks
Creative for USAID