By Jamal Lasri
By Jamal Lasri
Morocco World News
Rabat, May 21, 2012
I hesitated before writing this letter because I have never been the type of person who complains a lot and asks for sympathy, and I will never be as I already have a scientific research contract in a European country that not only respects research and science, but also considers them among its priorities. I am writing this letter out of my nationalist feelings and my desire to stand in solidarity with my fellow Moroccans who have not been lucky enough like myself and have been suffering from marginalization, unemployment and are even totally ignored by the Moroccan officials.
What I am about to write is just an example of what happens in Moroccan universities and a sample of what Moroccan graduates and researchers face when they seek employment in public institutions.
In spite of the difficulties and obstacles that we are all aware of, I am still waiting for the new government to transform its words into actions and implement its promises that it made to the Moroccan people. I hope that the echoes of this letter reach Mr. Lahcen Daoudi, Minister of Higher Education, Scientific Research & Executive Training, via this website since my snail mail letter that I sent to him has been forgotten or it was not taken seriously or maybe, for some reason, it has not reached his office at all.
I have always believed, based on my modest experience in scientific research which I have accumulated after years of scientific research in European laboratories, that my experience will be a useful asset that will benefit my country of origin and a compensation for leaving my country behind. This is why I have taken the decision to apply to any employment competitions in Morocco that are related to my field, hoping that I might have a chance to get back to my country, and thus be a benefit and benefit from being back home.
In fact, I have applied to three competitions for employment for the position of Chemistry Assistant Professor which was announced on the website of the Ministry of Higher Education.
The position was open in the following institutions:
*Faculty of Sciences in Agadal, Mohamed V University
*The Superior School for Technology in Fes
*The Faculty of Multi-disciplines in Khreibga
I was initially so excited for this opportunity, but later felt very disappointed. The management of these competitions was very ambiguous, and I was not able to comprehend its details.
There were many discrepancies that resulted in confusion, such as:
-I observed many discrepancies during the competition for the employment of two Assistant Professors of Organic Chemistry and Analytical Chemistry in Mohamed V University, Agdal, Rabat. I explained the discrepancies in details in two letters addressed to the head of the university, and I still have not received any response to my letters yet. I will provide more details about these letters below.
-The dates of results’ announcement were not respected. The dates were not the same as indicated in the announcements of the competitions.
-The initial and the final results were not published on the websites of the above mentioned institutions. This contradicts the principles of transparency and doesn’t reflect the desire for the implementation of the new constitution in the field of good governance, which the minister and the government have been defending.
-My lack of access to the results of the competitions until today even though I desperately tried to get in touch with the above mentioned institutions by phone. My calls were not taken seriously or were looked down upon and sometimes was told that the initial results were published onsite, which reflects the fact that these officials forget that we came from abroad (paid for the plane tickets and had to take a vacation) in order to participate in the competitions. We won’t resign from our jobs and wait for some results that might not be published at all.
On October 18th, 2011, I submitted my application to participate in the competition for hiring an assistant professor of Organic Chemistry. The competition was administered by the Faculty of Science, Mohamed V University in Agdal. My application was denied because I needed to submit an administrative equivalent of my PhD diploma even though I submitted the scientific equivalent, which was listed as a requirement in the competition announcement. I started working on the paperwork to obtain the administrative equivalent, but because of bureaucratic complications, and two days before the deadline, I decided to go ahead and submit my application again without the administrative equivalent and explained to the administrators that I had already started the process of obtaining the required equivalent. My application was accepted this time on condition that I submit the administrative equivalent later.
After this incident, I started wondering; if the administrative equivalent was necessary, why did they accept my application without it the second time? Accepting my application without it indicates that the document is not that necessary, especially if we take into account the fact that the administration issues the administrative equivalent soon after a candidate succeeds in the competition for employment in order to compile the employment file. The reason why this document is required is unclear.
November 11th, 2011 was the date of the competition and I contacted the Faculty of Science twice after this date. However, I didn’t get any information concerning the initial selection or the date when the selection is supposed to take place. This made me wonder why there is this surreal ambiguity in communicating the results. Since I regularly check the ministry’s website for employment competition announcements, I noticed a new announcement for a competition to employ two assistant professors of Chemistry in Mohamed V University in Agdal. The announcement was made by the administration of the university.
I started wondering if this new announcement was a new one or the same one that I applied for. I went to the Faculty of Science to inquire about the matter. I was told that the new announcement is actually for the same position that I applied for. They said that the administration of the faculty was not able to resolve the matter and they told me to retrieve my application and submit it to the administration of the university!!!!! I apologize to the reader for making you feel dizzy, just like myself. Forgive me, but reality sometimes makes us feel more than just dizziness and disgust.
Then I asked myself two questions:
-Why weren’t the candidates, who submitted their applications to the Faculty of Science, informed of the results immediately? This is to allow them to retrieve their applications and resubmit them to the administration of the university on time?
-Since the Faculty of Science is administratively linked to the administration of the university, why didn’t the faculty transfer the applications internally? Also, it is worth noting that the administration of the university didn’t ask me to submit the administrative equivalent of my PhD diploma like the Faculty of Science did.
Because of my outstanding experience in scientific research, which has been proven in Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, and The Netherlands etc…Thanks to the number of my good quality publications (the impact of my research and the number of citations); the number of international conferences that I attended; my patents of invention, I have recently been called by the French National Center For Scientific Research to participate in a competition to select a first degree researcher. I was invited to participate along with 6 other researcher from all of France. This is when I have not been invited to any initial selection in the competitions held in my country, Morocco.
Through this medium, and as a Moroccan citizen, I ask the Moroccan officials, especially the respected Minister of Education to issue his instructions to the institutions mentioned in this letter and other institutions to publish the results of the initial selection and the final results of the competitions on their websites, just like it is done in all parts of the world. Also, it is expected of them to initiate an inquiry into the procedures followed in organizing the above mentioned competitions, and work on fixing all the issues related to this process.
I truly hope that our new government adopts the principles of transparency, integrity and clarity and require all national institutions to abide by these principles. Furthermore, the national institutions must apply the principle of equal opportunities in announcing public sector jobs, and give priority to merit and competency during the hiring process. The adoption of these principles will not only have a positive impact on the procedures of employment and bring justice to those who are affected, but also it will promote transparency within our institutions and guarantee their efficiency and effectiveness. These goals will only be achieved if we have an honest desire to participate in the development of our country and promote its status among the nations in all aspects, especially in an important field like scientific research and higher education.
A Moroccan scientific researcher living abroad.
Translated by Anouar M’zoudi
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