By Hassane Oudadene
By Hassane Oudadene
Morocco World News
Ouarzazate, Morocco, January 9, 2012
There is no doubt that education is a complex institution where a great deal of content and methodology is being cooked. In fact, a huge number of intellectuals are choosing to serve as teachers, professors, tutors and in-class researchers. Only few of them, actually, fall in this stream out of love; the rest have chosen the field out of the availability of no other choice. However, how many of these teachers possess the authentic conviction of trying to be effective, committed and responsible?
The answer to this question may be pertinent to the criterion of the quality approach within the educational scope as a whole in case the provided data are genuine and give a first-hand representation of the educational process. That is, are really the students’ results and high level of achievement an accurate assessment of their accumulated knowledge, their linguistic performance, and their communicative skills? Unless there is a reasonable compatibility between statistics and reality, talking about a quality assurance approach would really be wild goose chase.
One point of great prominence is related to the teacher as a regularly active factor and party in the teaching-learning process. It is true that assorted agents come to interplay to achieve a similar goal. Yet, the share of responsibility ranges differently among all the participating actors of the educational process. Generally, the teaching-learning process takes place in the presence of these elements: teacher, students, curriculum and administration without mentioning the outside world in general.
It is out of the question that an effective coordination and interactivity among these elements will lead towards the proliferation of the desired aims; and any deficiency or a simple sense of reluctance on the part of one actor would certainly produce some complications to impede the ongoing process. Therefore, to evoke the issue of responsibility and commitment as crucial ingredients for a positive and effective outcome, we should also look at these issues’ connectedness with all the participating agents of the educational institution. While we raise, for instance, the problem of attrition, truancy and discipline as serious flaws contaminating our schools, we should also be strong enough to speak a word of truth about some teachers, occasionally, in terms of lack of punctuality, indifference towards professional development, and particularly the issue of uncommitted allegiance and love for their job. Further, we will definitely have to be brave as to question the validity of the manuals and readers in use, and the relevance of the curriculum in general. Part of what coordination embeds is the involvement, within the framework of the participatory approach, of teachers themselves in the process of curriculum design; otherwise the professionalism of this operation would remain at stake and would automatically lead to predictable negative consequences, particularly if we take into account regional, if not local, differences. Moreover, the laws, codes and charters operated by the ministry in charge would by all odds be useless.
Now, as a modest intellectual representing a category of participants in the teaching-learning process, though I am actually only speaking for myself in this reflective article, and being always envious of sophisticatedly qualified systems of education, I argue that a teacher is in a better position to make the best use of the worst evident teaching conditions. One can always attempt at getting good and positive results out of the dire circumstances of most of students and of the school itself. In fact, it was no wonder that the World Bank Report came up with those humiliating statistics touching our country, but the wonderful wonder is obviously to wait for others -international bodies- to pinch and awake us to inform the world about the status and ranking of our education concomitantly with other nations.
On the one hand, the World Bank report regarding our educational system was expected, for a lot of teachers and students often express their resentment towards school, education and the system as a whole. Nevertheless, what the World Bank didn’t consider was the fact that there are particular cases that debunk its findings. There are certain Moroccan students and teachers who have proved to be outstanding in terms of “challenge” and it was worth evoking these particular ordinary cases who made extraordinary achievements. Also, Moroccan students abroad score higher than other international students, especially Arab ones. However, is the quality and effectiveness of any educational system measured in terms of a few particular genius cases or the quantity of medium achievers or both?
To be more practical, if we come to reflect over the share of responsibility regarding participants, I believe that a sense of paradox rises here. That is, most students actually have the motivation, the drive and the will to excel, but they haven’t got the means and that is the category whose aspirations and ambitions are even stronger than their available learning conditions. On the other hand, there are students whose socio-economic conditions have provided them with all means and comfort to study and perform well at school, yet only few of them manage to do so. Thus, where does the student’s responsibility lie? Once they possess the means both at home and at school, there should be no excuse for them but to do their best.
As far as the teacher is concerned, I have no doubt that s/he is at the heart of the matter. A big uproar would rise over the argument putting all the blame on the teacher. I believe that the bulk of responsibility should be assumed by the teacher as the principal agent in the teaching-learning process. This is based on the fact that the teacher is the one who spends most of the time with the student, s/he is the one who is always in regular and direct contact with his subjects in class; most of school time is spent in that face-to-face communication between the teacher and the student. Hence, departing from our experience as students, and while we live upon memories of the wonderful days of school, it happens that we make judgments about a few teachers. Accordingly, no matter how many years elapse after either graduation or drop-out, a few teachers always maintain reminiscences of either positive or negative images. Some teachers have left fabulous impressions engraved in students’ minds and others have imbued them with seeds of school paranoia.
Almost no student would blame a particular type of curriculum, or a specific article of a charter of education. Almost no student, either successful or not, would ever claim being a victim of parents’ misguidance or of a hard time due to particular social problems. However, it would be mere pretence for students to evoke the competence and the responsibility and also the reputation of a good or a bad teacher. That’s what students are retentive of. It’s very true that responsibility is shared among different actors, but we should also bear in mind that if we rack our brains to make the best use of what is within our reach, without even going beyond our capacities, we would absolutely attain the major part of our aim. All we, teachers, have to do is to keep in mind that hope is our drive, to sense that deep within ourselves that we can always do something about it.
Edited by Benjamin Villanti
Hassane Oudadene is a Morocco World News’ Contributor
© Morocco World News