Morocco is to pay parents to send children to schools in a system so bad that there is no drinking water in three quarters of rural establishments, the country's education minister said Saturday.
Ahmed Akhchichine told the newspaper Journal Hebdomadaire that a new government programme would tackle neglect of the education of poor children especially in rural areas, saying a similar scheme had already proved effective in Mexico.
"We are going to pay parents to send their children to school," said Akhchichine.
"At present, 75 percent of countryside schools have no drinking water and 80 percent have no toilets," he revealed.
Before educational questions were addressed, he said, "we need facilities with a basic minimum of conditions: water, electricity, blackboards, hygiene, this is the priority of priorities."
Girls can give up going to school entirely because of the absence of toilet facilities, the minister admitted.
Moroccan school education did not meet the hopes of society, he said.
He added that 70 percent of university students were studying arts and letters, calling for institutions to re-focus their offerings.