Improving Early Grade Reading Skills in Morocco.

Morocco Reading for Success Small-Scale Experimentation (RFS-SSE) Program

Project Dates: September 2015 - March 2018
Moroccan schools are making an effort to transform reading instruction in Arabic to improve primary students’ basic literacy skills.

In Morocco, less than 15 percent of first-grade students are likely to graduate from high school. Just a few years ago, 33 percent of second-grade students who were tested in west-central Morocco’s Doukkala-Abda region could not read a single word. To reverse these trends, the USAID Morocco Reading for Success Small-Scale Experimentation (RFS-SSE) program assessed and improved early grade reading abilities and teacher training. The program was part of USAID/Morocco’s broader Reading for Success program, which used a combination of analysis, experimentation, and national policy reform to strengthen literacy instruction and rates in Morocco. In collaboration with the Moroccan Ministry of Education and Vocational Training and local partners, RFS-SSE applied international best practices in Arabic reading to develop reading materials that best serve students’ and teachers’ needs.

Project Goals


  • Design, adapt, and conduct early grade reading assessments in target schools to evaluate the effectiveness of reading lessons
  • Develop reading lessons in Arabic and show teachers and school directors how to incorporate these curricula into classrooms nationally
  • Offer grants to assist local NGOs with designing and delivering high-quality summer reading and enrichment activities
  • Gather data and evidence to inform future policy reform related to reading curricula and instruction, civil-society engagement, and community-based education activities

Our Impact Learning to Read in Morocco, One Letter at a Time

By introducing phonics-based teaching methodologies, the Reading for Success – Small Scale Experimentation activity is testing the most effective approaches for strengthening children’s Arabic reading skills in targeted primary schools.

In Morocco, less than 15 percent of first-grade students are likely to graduate from high school. Just a few years ago, 33 percent of second-grade students who were tested in west-central Morocco’s Doukkala-Abda region could not read a single word. To reverse these trends, the USAID Morocco Reading for Success Small-Scale Experimentation (RFS-SSE) program assessed…

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