Morocco: How Can Unmotivated Teachers Motivate Unmotivated Students?
By Rachid Khouya
Morocco World News
Es-Semara, Morocco, March 1, 2012
At the moment when developed countries insist on choosing the best of their university graduates—those who believe in learning as a lifelong process— to undergo special professional training and to possess good personal and scholarly qualities before becoming teachers, Morocco, consciously or unconsciously, chooses totally the opposite.
Recently, while facing the huge demonstrations of graduates in the capital, Rabat, the government recruited many jobless people as teachers without providing any professional training. The government just washed their hands of them and threw them to different schools in different parts of the kingdom, with the aim “to punish those who disturbed the representatives of the nation and the government in the capital,” as a teacher commented.
Many teachers found themselves in huge classrooms with no training, no equipment, no teaching material, and no pedagogical knowledge or skills. They didn’t know where to start or where to end, especially considering that most of these teachers had been jobless for nearly a decade or more.
Some newly recruited teachers say that “the biggest punishment we had never excepted was to find ourselves doing something we don’t know how to do.” The majority of them have no idea of how to manage the classrooms, how to use the blackboard, how to prepare lessons plans, or how to control the huge and overcrowded classrooms. One of them declared, “I don’t even know how to stand in front of the classroom and how to take the school bag, let alone how to teach and to evaluate and assess students.”
Another teacher said: “Imagine yourself compelled to stand on stage in front of an audience and being asked to sing in public; or being taken by force to the frontier and put on the front lines and asked to take part in a war without having ever seen blood, used arms, or, worst of all, without even being given weapons to defend yourself let alone the country.” He added: “That’s the way I felt the first week of my appointment as a teacher.”
To add salt to the wound, these teachers have been forced to work for more than a year without salary. Most of them had been unemployed for a long time and were appointed in remote areas far away from their hometowns and families. They feel alone, hungry, and poor and are unable to solve problems of housing. “Is this the way countries that respect themselves treat their teachers?” asked a PhD holding teacher.
Needless to say, our ministers and leaders should be reminded that our country will always be a failure in the field of education and that we can never develop or change as long as we disdain, intentionally or unintentionally, our teachers and our students.
It is a shame not to put the right teachers in the right classrooms and not to provide the right conditions of work for those men and women who society recruited to teach and prepare its children to be able to face future challenges. Teachers should be motivated if we want them to motivate our learners; otherwise, the question is left unanswered, “how can unmotivated teachers motivate unmotivated students?”
Edited by Jasmine Davey
Rachid Khouya is a teacher of English in Es Smara city, south of Morocco. He obtained a Bachelor Degree in English studies from Ibn Zohr University in Agadir. He published many articles and stories in different regional and national Moroccan newspapers. He is an active member of MATE (Moroccan Association of Teachers of English). He is interested in education, human rights and citizenship.
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