Primary education

Primary education (enseignement primaire) in Morocco lasts 6 years. Primary education is compulsory for all children between the ages of 6 and 12. They conclude this phase with the Certificat d’Études Primaires (CEP)/ شهادة الدراسات الإبتدائية.

Pursuant to a new law adopted in 2019, the loi-cadre 51.17, pre-school education (2 years) will become part of primary education in a few years time.

Secondary education

Secondary education (enseignement secondaire) lasts 6 years. It is divided into 2 phases, each lasting 3 years:

  • lower secondary education (le cycle secondaire collégial);
  • upper secondary education (le cycle secondaire qualifiant).

Lower secondary education

Students between the ages of 12 and 15 study the 3 years of lower secondary education at a collège. If they pass their exams, they conclude this phase with a Brevet d’Enseignement Collégial (BEC). After this phase, education is no longer compulsory.

Upper secondary education

Once they have received the Brevet d’Enseignement Collégial (BEC), students have the option of studying the 3 years of upper secondary education at a lycée. A year of study in upper secondary education is called an année secondaire (AS); the first year is 1AS, the final year is 3AS.

The 3-year upper secondary education phase is divided into 2 stages:

  • a 1-year common curriculum (tronc commun);
  • a 2-year specialisation with a choice of 2 subject clusters.

After the first year (tronc commun), students choose 1 of the following 2 subject clusters:

Attestation du Baccalauréat

As part of the general education cluster (général), students choose 1 of the following 2 programmes of study:

  • lettres (languages);
  • sciences.

As part of the languages programme of study, students specialise in:

  • lettres modernes (modern languages); or
  • lettres originelles (classical languages).

As part of the sciences programme of study, students choose 1 of the following 3 specialisations:

  • sciences expérimentales (natural sciences);
  • sciences mathématiques (mathematics);
  • sciences originelles (a classical variant with a specific focus on the Arabic language and Islamic sciences).

If students pass their school-leaving examinations, they receive the Attestation du Baccalauréat/ شهادة البكالوريا. This diploma provides admission to higher education in Morocco.

We compare the Attestation du Baccalauréat to at least a HAVO diploma.

Please note: 'at least a HAVO diploma' means that the diploma has a higher level than a HAVO diploma, but a lower level than a VWO diploma. The level of the diploma lies between a HAVO diploma and a VWO diploma.

Baccalauréat d’Enseignement Technologique et Professionnel

Students who choose the technologique et professionnel) cluster foloow general and vocational secondary education in the last 2 years. They choose 1 of the following 6 programmes of study:

  • génie mécanique (mechanical engineering);
  • génie électrique (electrical engineering);
  • génie civil (engineering);
  • génie chimique (chemical engineering);
  • sciences économiques (economics/business administration);
  • sciences agronomiques (agricultural sciences).


For the most part, these 6 programmes of study cover general education subjects like mathematics, modern languages and subjects related to the chosen programme, such as physics (technical programmes of study), chemistry (chemical programmes of study), biology (agricultural programmes of study) and geography or history (economic programmes of study). Various specialisations are available within each programme of study. A third of all teaching for the technologique et professionnel subject cluster is practically oriented.

If students pass their school-leaving examinations, they receive the Baccalauréat d'Enseignement Technologique et Professionnel (BETP). This diploma provides admission to higher education in Morocco.

We compare the Baccalauréat d’Enseignement Technologique et Professionnel (BETP) to a HAVO diploma with vocational subjects.

National and regional examinations

The baccalauréat examination consists of a regional examination (set by the académie) and a central (national) written examination. Final marks are calculated using the following formula:

  • The average marks for the last school year (or sometimes the last 2 years, depending on the policy of the académie) count towards 25% of the final marks.
  • The marks for the regional examination count towards 25%.
  • The marks for the central written examination count towards 50%.

Students sit the regional examination in the last school year but one. They sit the central written examination at the end of the last school year (in June).

State diploma

Students who pass the school-leaving examinations receive a state diploma: the Attestation du Baccalauréat or the Baccalauréat d’Enseignement Technologique et Professionnel (BETP). Their marks are shown on the list of marks for the school-leaving examinations, the Relevé de Notes du Baccalauréat. The weight of each subject is indicated on this list with a number.

State examination

Students may receive the state certificate by attending regular daytime classes or by sitting a state examination as a candidat libre. In that case, only the marks for the regional examination (50%) and the central written examination (50%) are used to calculate the final marks.