Moroccan Schools

Figure 1.--The 5A class photograph from the Lycée Regnault shows the boys in 1955-56 wearing school smocks with short pants and knickers. This portrait was taken just as Morocco was achirving its independence. Click on the image to see the same school a decade later with ther boys wearing long pants.

HBC does not yet have detailed information on Moroccan school uniforms. We have acquired some images from European schools that existed in the country before independence. The school uniform styles reflect the clothing worn by contemporary European boys. There were schools for English, French, Italian, and German boys, not to mention American boys. The colonia power was France, although Spain also controlled part of Morocco, and the smocks worn by French boys appar to have influenced Moroccan school uniforms as the smock was used in Tunisian schools after independence. We have not yet, however, succeeded in aquiring information on actual Tunisian schools. Individual Schools HBC at this time has found information on only a few European schools in Morocco. We hope to eventually find some information on Tunisian national schools as well.

Political Background

Morocco in the 17th and 18th century was essentially a pirate base. After the Napoleonic Wars, European countries began to assess the strategic andceconomic importance of Morocco and other North African countries. Morocco as it commanded the southern approaches to the Straits of Gibraltar was of special strategic importance. Both the European Mediterranean powes and the major nasval powers had concerns about Morocco. This perhaps prevented France from seizing Morocco as it did neighboring Algeria in the 19th century. The major powers at the Algeciras Conference assigned policing powers to France and Spain and guaranteed German investments (1906). A ceries of incidents followed, the most serious was the Agadir Incident. In the volitile atmospher of European nationalism and arms races, these incidents were potentially very dangerous. Finally the great powers reached a settlement. Germany agreed to a more permanent settlement, including a French protectorate in exchanges for territgorial concessions elsewhere in Africa (1911). The following year France and Spain established protectorates, but left the monarcy nonminally in power (1912). After France's defeat by Germany in World War II, the Vichy Gobverment retained control of Morocco and other colonial possessions (1940). The Allies seized Morocco and Algerian as a result of the Torch landings (1942). After the War Moroccan nationalist pressed for independemce. The French exilled Sultan Sidi Mohammed. Increasing nationalist opposition to the French, the Sultan returned and France recognized Morocco's independence (1956). Spain also turned over most of their territory in Morroco (1956-58), except Ceuta.

Moroccan Schools

We do not yet have information on Moroccan schools. Unfortunately we do not yet have any HBC-SU contributors from Morocco. We do not know when the first secuilar Moroccan schools were founded. We do not know if there were Moroccan secular schools before inddepencence (1956)

Colonial Era Schools

We have some information on colonial era schools. There were both state and private schools. The state schools as we understand it were open to both the French in Morocco and the native Moroccans, but were taught in French rather than Arabic. I am not sure if Arabic was included in the curriculum at all. There were also private schools, but many of the private schools would have been Catholic which would have had a much smaller proportion of Moroccan children. The objective of the state schools was not only to provide basic education to franicize the Morrocans. Partly for this reason, some Morrocan parents kept their children out of the schools. Many Moroccan children attended these schools in the cities because there were compulsory attendance laws, but attendance in rural areas was more limited. We have found some information on these colonial era schools.


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Related Style Pages in the Boys' Historical Web Site
[Long pants suits] [Knicker suits] [Short pants suits] [Socks] [Eton suits] [Jacket and trousers] [Blazer] [School sandals] [School smocks] [Sailor suits] [Pinafores] [Long stockings]

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Created: September 4, 2001
Last updated: 10:41 PM 8/14/2006