HM the King addresses a speech to the Nation on the 59th anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the People
Praise be to God May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet, His Kith and Kin
The commemoration of the Revolution of the King and the People, which coincides with Youth Day, is a special national event which reflects the cohesion between the throne and the people. It also shows the extent to which the lifeblood of the nation - particularly our young people - has been involved in our country’s major accomplishments.
The epic event of the Revolution of the King and the People teaches us the values of sacrifice and valor, and of loyalty and courage displayed for the sake of our country’s liberty, unity and sovereignty.
As for the commemoration of Youth Day, it is an opportunity to highlight the promising role played by our youth in forging a bright future which is as glorious as the nation’s splendid past.
The objectives targeted by the major projects we have launched to build a model society, which is deeply committed to its identity and to active solidarity between all segments of the population, can be achieved only through the hard work, creativity and genius of our young people.
Given your role in the social development of the nation, you, the country’s young people, are our foremost asset. Enjoying full-fledged citizenship, with the rights and responsibilities underpinning it, you have been actively engaged in the changes influencing our society; you have remained firmly committed to the characteristic features of the nation’s identity while maintaining a positive attitude towards the universal values of mankind.
I listen to your concerns and seek to fulfill your legitimate aspiration, wherever you are and whatever your affiliations.
When talking about youth issues, I keep in mind the challenges of the present as well as the prospects for the future. But addressing the future requires developing strategies to prepare our youth for a better tomorrow, in addition to showing utmost integrity when scrutinizing the horizon and making projections for that future.
The Kingdom’s new Constitution thus attaches special importance to representative, participatory democracy for all citizens. It calls for various mechanisms to be set up in order promote citizen participation in public affairs.
To obtain the active involvement of young people in this strategic undertaking, it is necessary to prepare them well for the future. This brings us to the education system and its ability to groom future generations properly, making them active players in the nation’s democratic set-up and in its development process.
Special attention therefore needs to be paid to our education system. This is a foremost national priority. We ought to take a long hard look at the education system, which should not merely guarantee all our children equitable access to schools and universities; it should also provide them with useful, motivating education and training suited to the kind of active life awaiting them.
It should also enable young people to develop their skills and make full use of their creative energies. Our education system should help young people ensure their personal development so that they may shoulder their civic responsibilities in an environment that preserves their dignity, upholds equal opportunity and enables them to contribute to economic, social and cultural development. This is the greatest challenge today.
To achieve this objective, we should seek to implement the recommendations made in recent years and put into practice the provisions of the new Constitution regarding good, modern education.
To this end, we have to reconsider our approach and our education policies to go from a system centered on the teacher and his or her performance - in which knowledge is simply transmitted to learners - to another method which promotes learner interaction, enables students to develop their abilities and gives them opportunities to show their creativity and innovative thinking, in addition to enabling them to acquire skills, learn the rules of socialization and commit themselves to the ideals of freedom, equality and respect for difference.
Under the desired reform, the aim is not to change syllabi, or add or remove subjects. The goal, in fact, is to change the training system and its objectives, and to give a new dimension to the work of teachers so that they can discharge their lofty mission properly.
Moreover, the school should not be an institution based on the principle of cramming information into pupils, but one which encourages critical thinking and perceptiveness to prepare students for the information and knowledge-based society.
I call on the government to act along these lines and to lay special emphasis on upgrading state schools as well as on developing private education and ensuring interaction and complementarity between the two systems.
To develop the education sector and promote partnership as well as responsible governance in this respect, we need to implement, as soon as possible, the provisions of the Constitution concerning the Higher Council for Education, Training and Scientific Research in its new format. The Council should contribute to the success of this transition which is crucially important not only for the future of our young people, but also for that of Morocco as a country and as a nation.
I am aware of the tremendous efforts made by families to care for their children and provide them with education. We must safeguard this intergenerational solidarity. However, youth issues do not only concern the personal or family domains, nor are they limited to matters relating to education and training. In fact, youth issues concern all social stakeholders, who should be involved in finding solutions to the problems facing young people.
Our young people look forward to the right conditions that will help them achieve their personal fulfillment and shoulder their responsibilities; they legitimately aspire to better social and professional integration, especially through the creation of more jobs.
Young people should also have greater access to housing, healthcare, community services, sports, leisure and other facilities as well as information and communication technology centers which promote integration.
They legitimately aspire to playing a key role in the nation’s political, economic and social life and wish to be involved in cultural and artistic creative activities whose facilities, incidentally, are not evenly spread over Morocco’s regions.
In today’s world, culture is a powerful lever for creativity and innovation; it nurtures the mind and builds the national character. It is the engine that drives the dynamism of our society. We pride ourselves on the time-honored cultural heritage of our country which, just like a river, is fed by many tributaries – a country which remains deeply committed to its diverse characteristics as well as to the principle of openness to the world.
Morocco has undeniably made tremendous efforts in all sectors to enable young people to access a wide range of services to which they are legitimately entitled, and which enable them to improve their skills, be self-reliant and take an active part in their country’s development.
Large amounts of money have been invested in this sector and a great many initiatives and programs launched. This has led to concrete, commendable results. Yet, what has been accomplished remains below our young people’s expectations and falls short of their ambitions. There are still several hurdles which impede the integration we long for. Many young people, across the social spectrum, are still facing constraints which affect their daily lives as well as their prospects for the future.
Young people must not be perceived as a burden on society, but rather as a potent force that contributes to the nation’s development. To this end, a comprehensive strategy has to be drawn up to ensure that the services provided for young people are no longer scattered or sector-based, and to implement a policy that groups all the services in a harmonious way.
In this regard, the Advisory Council for Youth and Community Action provided for in the new Constitution should, upon its inception and with the participation of young people, help draw up the strategic guidelines of a policy that would give tangible meaning to young people’s full-fledged citizenship.
One cannot address issues concerning our nation’s youth without referring to one of its components, namely our young fellow citizens living abroad. Their strong attachment to their country shows how firmly they believe in the basic policies adopted and the major development projects launched.
I am sure you are aware that whenever I launch a thorough, structural reform, I always put Moroccan citizens living abroad at the heart of our concerns and of our plans for the future. This is what we did with respect to the reform of the Family Law and the Nationality Act, with all the symbolic meaning of that reform. We have also amended the Constitution and introduced unprecedented provisions with regard to the rights of the Moroccan expatriate community, to whom I should like to say the following:
You spare no effort to maintain the strongest possible ties with your country of origin, thereby showing that Morocco is always front and center of your daily concerns; you seek to defend our national causes, contribute to the country’s development and promote its relations with your country of residence. Moreover, you are committed to constructive cultural interaction based on universal values, and strive to overcome stereotypes and negative, preconceived judgments about Islam and Muslims.
This special relationship is no mere coincidence. It is a relationship that has been forged over many long years of hard work and mutual sacrifice.
Consequently, we will carry on along the same path and continue our endeavor to protect your identity and your rights, and to further your interests, especially in the context of the economic crisis in Europe.
In addition, we are keen to ensure full implementation of the provisions of the Constitution, which grants you the right to play as large a part as possible in the shaping of the nation’s future. Furthermore, it provides for you to be represented in the supervisory bodies of the forthcoming institutions and to play an active role in their work.
We will also continue to support you in your efforts to achieve integration in your host countries. To this end, we shall work jointly with the authorities concerned in these countries to ensure that foreign residents enjoy and exercise voting rights in local elections, on the basis of reciprocity.
As we commemorate these great national events with a keen sense of confidence and pride, we pray that Almighty God shower his blessings on the souls of the martyrs of the Revolution of the King and the People.
May He bestow the best of rewards upon the hero of the liberation, my revered grandfather His Majesty King Mohammed V, and upon his companion in the struggle, my venerable father His Majesty King Hassan II. May they rest in peace.
We pray for God’s support and assistance in our efforts to keep up the momentum of the glorious Revolution of the King and the People. Our aim is to reinforce the pillars of Morocco as a fully united, sovereign nation which offers its citizens a dignified life, brings prosperity and comprehensive development to every region in the country and makes the virtues of solidarity, justice and equity prevail.
Following the tragic loss suffered by the Royal Family, with the death of my esteemed aunt, Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Amina - may she rest in peace - and whose passing coincides with these blessed days of Ramadan, I have decided to cancel all celebrations in connection with my birthday, considering the special place Her Royal Highness had in our hearts, and the symbolism of her birth which is associated, in the nation’s collective conscience, with the exile of my revered grandfather, His Majesty King Mohammed V - may God’s perpetual light shine upon him - who was engaged in the Revolution of the King and the People.
On the occasion of Eid Al-Fitr, and as I pray that Almighty God accept our fasting and prayers, I offer you my warmest greetings and congratulations and wish you much happiness, now and in years to come.
Wassalamu alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh.