Challenges Facing Alternative Education in Morocco: Integration of Tamazight in the School System
Education in Morocco is facing a lot of challenges similar to those faced in many other recently colonized third world countries. This paper focuses on the post colonial context of education in Morocco and the challenges of integrating Tamazight (Berber Language) into the institutionalized, government run, public education system. In 2001 the Moroccan monarchy issued a decree creating the Royal Institute for Tamazight (IRCAM) that started to work on introducing Tamazight to the school system in coordination with the Department of Education. This research examines the past and present initiatives and experiences in teaching Tamazight by local NGOs and individuals, setting it in the broader context of colonization in both its past and current forms. This research emerged from a personal interest I have as a language teacher and trainer who took part in these initiatives and witnessed the daily challenges Moroccan Amazigh teachers and activists face. This is a multidisciplinary study that tries to examine the historical and philosophical foundations of the question of Tamazight language and identity as it relates to the emerging concepts of alternative education. It also explores the ways in which programs like these can be used for and against indigenous peoples. The basic conclusions derived from this study highlight the struggles of indigenous peoples in Morocco, Imazighen, to forge an alternative discourse of teaching their language which has been labeled as inferior and less important to the development of the country.