By Omar Bihmidine
By Omar Bihmidine
Morocco World News
Sidi Ifni, Morocco, March 13, 2012
This year the results of the professional competence tests are going to appear on March, 15 as declared by the education minister, Mohamed Elouafa. Teachers who are successful on the exam are to upgrade directly to a higher scale than their previous one. Many participating teachers are currently waiting with bated breath for the results, and they are all looking forward to success. No one knows for certain who will succeed and what subject will be predominant this year. As has been the case for many years, only the top 11 % of test takers are passed. Among the questions that must be posed and raised among teachers are whether the whole procedure is transparent enough and whether all subjects are treated on an equal footing.
No one can deny that a large number of teachers cheat on these tests in some way or another. Of course, conscience-minded teachers are an exception here. Ways of cheating differ, ranging from opening a book and looking up the answers to asking other fellow candidates about the right way to answer a particular question. It is self-evident that they are all forms of cheating. As long as cheating is part of the procedure, these competence tests must be reconsidered for the reason that conscientious teachers who do not cheat will be negatively affected by the 11% pass rate. Sometimes, cheaters stand higher chances of succeeding.
Another heart-rending aspect that characterizes these tests is nepotism and vagueness. Here, we need to exclude those who deserve success because of their diligence, commitment to their career, and conscience. Those who have recourse to nepotism are usually incompetent teachers who can not succeed at the exams and therefore have no choice but to seek an intermediary so as to be listed among the top scorers. Among the cases who are living proof to this sort of nepotism are the teachers who, themselves, admit that they have never prepared for the exams, but who still pass; or the teachers who are known to have a poor reputation, but still finish among top scorers, to the teachers who have not the slightest idea how they managed to perform successfully on the test.
Whereas teachers of Islamic studies and those of Arabic usually received the lion’s share of successful results, other teachers of other subjects wonder about and complain about their share of the 11% pass rate. Among the demands of the latter group of teachers is that each subject must be given its fair share among the 11% pass rate so that all teachers with different subjects are given equal chances of passing. Recently, a teacher of English, a scale 11 candidate, told me that the subject of Islamic studies, for instance, is usually much easier than the rest of the other subjects, and this is why the number of teachers who succeed in this subject is significantly larger. Think of mathematics, science, and physics where teachers stand very few chances.
Stranger is also the fact that in some regions, teachers succeed more frequently than those in other regions. And this happens nearly every year. This fact must be reconsidered too, and which might be ascribed to some hidden agendas. Another occurrence that has nowadays become common is that there are many diligent teachers who are noted for doing their work properly in class according to their supervisors, but who, unfortunately, turn out to fail the professional competence tests that they have sat for several times, while their counterparts, lazy teachers, happen to pass. There might be different explanations for this phenomenon. One of them is that just as there exist diligent teachers in class who are practicing their trade in teaching, there exist lazy teachers who, however, are good at theory. Whatever the explanation is, all the aforementioned contradictions must make us think and question the transparency, validity, and reliability of these tests.
Omar Bihmidine is high school teacher of English. He obtained his Associate Degree at Choaib Eddoukali University in 2008. His writings take the form of short stories, poems and articles, many of which have been published in Sous Pens magazine, in the ALC magazine in Agadir, and in the late Casablanca analyst newspaper. He can be reached at: [email protected]
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy.
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