By Rachid Ait Oumaiz
By Rachid Ait Oumaiz
Morocco World News
Agadir, Morocco, March 10, 2012
Last week, two of my best students (H.T and F.Z) delivered an interesting presentation about ‘School Violence’. The presentation was supervised by Mr. Hassan Boudad and Mr. Slimane Mahmoudi who are both high school teachers of Biology and History & Geography respectively. To raise awareness for the event, the organizing committee invited teachers, students, parent representatives and even the regional delegate who apologized later for not attending that quite outstanding event.
The presenters gave a tentative definition of school violence stating some of the common features of violence. Then, they talked about the varied forms that school violence can take, ranging from student-student violence, teacher-student violence to violence that students may impose upon school equipment.
Concerning the causes underlying school violence, the presenters stated three main factors: psychological reasons, family reasons and school factors. These reasons have some tremendous effects either in the behavioral ethics’ sphere or in educational related concerns.
What was striking about the presentation is that the presenters managed to identify some solutions to one of the biggest problems our Moroccan education system is suffering from. Among the solutions they suggested are the following points:
-To promote a culture of tolerance and fight violence
-To lay the foundation for respect and dialogue inside the school
-To give students freedom to express themselves and to focus on the positive qualities of their personalities.
It is worth mentioning that the previously stated solutions are among the many important suggestions students came up with. Above all, they agreed to deal with the issue of violence in ‘Sidi Bouyahya High School’ in the form of ‘educational research’. The violence committee, which is in charge of observing and responding to concerns about violence in the school, will continue to debate and search for comprehensive solutions to this issue throughout the year.
The success of the presentation did not lie in the amount of information provided, rather it resided in the debate that was spurred among the huge audience in attendance. Everyone expressed their points of view, which was very interesting for it enabled people to weigh all the ideas that had been presented in the presentation. You can not imagine how much curiosity and willingness to find solutions that the subject generated among the people whose presence is necessary for the discussion of such topics.
I do believe that the organizing committee has succeeded in making all the parties come together around a quite challenging issue which is school violence. In this regard, thanks goes directly to the school principal, Mr. Mohamed Ait Ahmed Oubrahim for his high managerial skills and professional leadership.
What can be learned from the school violence presentation after all? In other words, what are some conclusions we can draw from this event? Here are some ideas that we have gained from taking part:
-Try to be as simple as possible, but not simple.
-Focus on areas of common ground and similarities between teachers and students
-Engage in fruitful dialogue and discussions with all parties
-Listen to students’ views attentively and respond to them accordingly
-Diagnose the problem first before seeking its solution
-Share the objectives with the whole world
-act now and don’t wait for ‘Godot’ because he won’t come
To cut a long story short, school violence should be dealt with from different perspectives. Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote: “Peace cannot be achieved through violence; it can only be attained through understanding.”
Rachid Ait Oumaiz is a Moroccan high school teacher of English. He holds a professional BA in TEFL&ICT (Teaching English as a Foreign Language and Information Communication Technology) from Ibn Zohr University in Agadir. By Rachid Ait Oumaiz is an active member of MATE (The Moroccan Association of Teachers of English). He is also interested in Politics, International Relations, Social Studies and Journalism. ([email protected])
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