Morocco is a fantastically varied travel destination, and famous names like Tangier, Casablanca and Marrakech rightly conjure images of the exotic. Whether it’s the café society, the bustling markets, or 4x4 trekking over virgin sand dunes there is a wealth of excitement to stimulate the traveller’s appetite.
The population is thirty-three millions, spread over a landmass of one hundred and seventy two square miles. The official languages in use are Arabic and Tamanzight - a local dialect, though French and Spanish are fairly widely spoken. The country is ninety-eight percent Muslim, one percent Christian, and one percent Jewish.
Despite Morocco’s francophone caste, an artefact of the old days of French Empire, entrance to university and access the better jobs all call for dexterity in English. All this adds up to considerable demand for native English speakers.
Quite unlike Europe, for those wishing to teach in a state or private school, there is not the requirement for a PGCE. You will need a TESOL qualification and you will need to check with the individual school whether they require an undergraduate degree and any teaching experience.
In the major cities there are a considerable number of language institutes which are worth checking out. In the public sector one can expect large classes, with students of a varying degrees of ability within the same class.
Visas and Regulations
The Moroccan Ministry of Labour stipulates that the maximum number of foreign staff in any organisation cannot exceed fifty percent. It also insists that all foreign teachers have obtained an undergraduate degree before they can be eligible for a work permit but again you should check with the individual school. Work permits are obtained after arrival by applying for authorization from the Ministere de L’Emploi, Quartier des Ministeres, Rabat. You will need copies of your diplomas, birth certificate, etc.
With all this said, once one is off the beaten track, it is not the case that visa regulations are strictly enforced. One should be mindful of what one’s tourist visa entitlements are, and consider how practical it is to renew one’s visa through cross-border trips.
Fez is a fabulous and ancient imperial city, with medieval walls and gates that are a wonder. The cobbled backstreets are fun to get lost in and there is a wealth of character to be found in this tourist hotspot. Marrakesh is set against a breath-taking backdrop of the snow-capped Atlas mountains. The Djemaa el-Fna square is rightly famous, and provides one of the most alluring out-door spectacles to be found anywhere on the planet. Snake charmers, jugglers and storytellers all vie for one’s attention, amidst pungent aromas, smoke and incense. Essaouira is a costal resort that simply can’t last. It boasts a long, beautiful, unspoilt beach, and is far from the package tour beaten track.
Getting a Job
A modicum of preparation prior to setting out will pay dividends. Think of not one country, but the continent of Africa. You may come to value mobility once you hit this part of the world. Hence, it is a very good idea to contact all of the African embassies in your country of origin, enquiring about teaching and visas, and see what you get back. You will find that you have a nice big file folder of leads and information, but will vary from country of origin to country of origin, African embassy to African embassy.
For many, getting a job will mean knocking on doors - hence, the need for those certificates, etc. Local telephone directories detail universities, schools and language institutes, etc, which are often only too willing to interview candidates. Highly-qualified, and more importantly, well-turned-out, organised and enthusiastic teachers are in short supply. If they like you they will most certainly find some teaching for you!
Hence, one of the best and most realistic propositions is to build a working life based around constructing a portfolio a few hours here and a few hours there, bearing mind that revenue from ‘privates’ can double a teacher’s income, one should always be on the lookout for private students, whatever one’s employment or visa status. The market for those wanting private tuition or conversation practice is huge, and potentially very lucrative, therefore, not be neglected. Give yourself time to build a portfolio of work. This is best safeguard to both your income, and employment status.