Proposed curriculum for the first bachelor of science in occupational therapy program in Morocco
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The Kingdom of Morocco is a country with a fast growing economy. The country is similar in size to California and has a population of about 33 million (United Nations, 2015). Despite this, Morocco does not have a degree program in occupational therapy. In fact, less than 1,000 registered rehabilitation therapists are available for the entire population (United Nations, 2012). Many of these registered therapists are physical therapists, and most are foreigners or Moroccans educated abroad. There is an urgent need for competent and well-trained rehabilitation workers, including occupational therapists. This project plans to begin a rigorous domestic bachelor’s degree that follows the American model in occupational therapy education. Currently, only six programs approved by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) exist in the Arabic speaking world and they are taught in English using predominantly American textbooks. One in Kuwait, three in Jordan, and one in Palestine. There is just one OT program in Tunisia, which is an associate member of WFOT and its program is taught in French. In addition, there are three occupational therapy programs in English in Saudi Arabia that started in 2010 and have not yet been approved by WFOT. Morocco, a mere seven hour flight from New York City, hopes to capitalize upon the successful models set forth in U.S. programs and echoed in other Middle Eastern countries. That said, this proposed Moroccan occupational therapy education curriculum intends to create its own identity to specifically address the needs of the Moroccan population. This project will present a programmatic blueprint for a domestic Moroccan occupational therapy curriculum and give all of its background, cultural influences, and challenges.