Mohammed Hassad Promises Major Primary School Reforms for 20172018

Rabat – Weighing in on the lag in education development in Morocco, Minister of Education Mohammad Hassad has said that the ministry must direct all of its efforts to reform primary education policies.During a presentation at the opening of the 12th session of the Supreme Council for Education and Training on July 26, Hassad stressed that the ministry should focus on primary education. “If we do not work on this basis, education will never develop.”“In terms of primary education reform, changes will begin starting the next academic year 2017-2018, in the sense that we will determine the curricula to be taught and determine the age of children who will study these curricula,” he told the council, before listing a number of policy changes. The minister said that, starting the next academic year, children aged five and five-and-a-half will be able to enroll in primary education.Hassad informed the council that the number of students in primary classes will be reduced. “Beginning next year the number of students in classes will not exceed 30 students per class.”Changes in language pedagogy will also be made, said Hassad. “The French language will be adopted in the first year of primary education, with an average of two hours. Language teaching for the fifth and sixth level of primary school will be compatible with higher education level.”He pointed out that the ministry will work on including English in primary, secondary and high schools, adding that it will continue to include the international route, and will be licensed to private institutions to include it starting in the 2018 season.“In 2018-2019, school year, the teaching of mathematics will be accompanied by French in primary education, with the addition of texts in French or English, as selected, in the teaching of science and mathematics in preparatory education in order to accommodate students in both languages,” said the minister. read more

Sandwich generation feels financially squeezed by needs of children and aging parents

TORONTO — A new poll suggests more than half of Canadians aged between 45 to 64 belong to a “sandwich generation” that’s feeling financially squeezed by the needs of their children, aging parents — or both.The survey conducted for BMO Nesbitt Burns found that 55% of those recently polled in this age group say they’re currently looking after children, parents, in-laws or other relatives.About one-third of the 800 people who responded to the Pollara online poll said they are caring for a senior.Thirty-nine percent said they worry that the demands of a being a caregiver will have a negative impact on their financial goals, such as saving for retirement.“There’s a sense among those in the sandwich generation that they’re getting squeezed and are being forced to balance a plethora of financial priorities, from paying down their mortgage to saving for their child’s education to saving for retirement,” Sylvain Brisebois, regional manager at BMO Nesbitt Burns, said in a statement.“The stress that comes with caring for children and aging relatives, balancing a career and generally keeping up with daily tasks can make it hard to focus on the future and saving for retirement.”The study also found that those polled in this age group are behind with their savings plans. The average amount that those polled want to have save by retirement is $818,000; but the average amount that has actually been saved as of date is just $258,000. Only 40% say they have a financial plan in place.Pollara conducted the poll for BMO between July 29 and 31. The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error as they are not a random sample and therefore are not necessarily representative of the whole population. read more