By Rachid Acim
By Rachid Acim
Morocco World News
Beni Mellal, Morocco, April 12, 2012
The problems Moroccan people suffer are numerous. They are hard to count these days! Some are most preoccupied with finding a modest accommodation to shelter their newly built families against the heat of summer and the cold winter. Some are crying low salaries, denial of many basic rights in mass protests. Some are taking up bad habits like theft, adultery, aggression to achieve an illusory dignity amongst their compatriots.
Also, some are coming back-desperate-leaving many abysmal stories, dramatic adventures behind, after they have been duped by the fancied myth of an artificial promised welfare. The other stream of people, are struggling inside the aquarium, to get a university degree and access the job market. Within this whole range of complex problems, there still is another category of people mourning sweet dreams, many unusual ambitions they have buried in a graveyard of misery, injurious afflictions.
Hélas! Who is responsible for all these sufferings?
Of course, it is very hard for a newborn government to find appropriate solutions to all these people. But we are not going to console ourselves with this above-mentioned fake excuse. The most serious problem, in my view, that needs deep reflection is the problem of our university graduates. Each year many students get high degrees, in different disciplines with good scores, attesting to their good potentials, seriousness while studying and, most importantly, the countless sacrifices of parents we hardly can mention.
The latter’s major concern was children’s education. To realize that, they did sell their house furniture, their youthfulness, even their blood to fund their progeny’s studies. While some could resist the critical circumstances of the family, continue the route with a strong determination and resolution, other students give up easily because there is no hand that can give them, support them, let alone applaud their efforts.
You may think, in this respect, of those orphaned students who have no parents to encourage them to study and achieve what their parents could not achieve. Personally, I always would tell my students that the best gift you can offer to your mothers is success. So, when the year comes to an end, the parents, especially mothers, look forward to hearing some good tidings from their children about the school results. This does not mean the father is not much interested in his sibling’s studies, but believe it or not, mothers give fundamental importance to studying. They can do anything just to guarantee that their children are studying in the best circumstances, wearing the best clothes like their school mates, albeit they may happen to be at home miserable and so distressed.
One teacher told me once that his wife told him she could bear extreme hunger, be patient to it, but she would ardently love to see her children studying in the best private schools, wearing beautiful clothes like their peers, laughing and playing. This quality of child care, I do believe, is shared by all mothers because they are more inclined to their children than the fathers. What we feel, from feelings oscillating between joy and despair, has already been felt by our beloved mothers. Though we cannot communicate to them those feelings, there is a sixth or a seventh sense guiding them towards us. Don’t be surprised then if your mum tells this is what you did and what you did not the whole day! It is not clairvoyance, not even illumination or any other extrasensory perception. But it is the love of the mother that speaks!
Such strong care grows in our mothers. They will love to see their sons and daughters getting married, having their own kids, living in their own houses and achieving some sort of autonomy. This is why they would shout very often at us that we need to study hard, get for ourselves an honorable work and be beholden to them if ever we can do so. Nevertheless, will this be materialized when one gets a high degree and is forced to go back home, empty-handed, with no work?
How many university graduates have consecrated all their lifetime to studying and ended up selling if not polishing old shoes in the public markets, together with the trading immigrants! How many brilliant students, who used to give exam answers to their lazy fellows, ended up selling cigarettes in the streets, mixing up with drug-dealers and delinquents! How many clever girls, who used to have high scores in Math’s and Physics subjects, ended up working as maidens for people lesser educated than them! Finally, how many boys, who once were the top in their classes, modeling for their classmates what to do, ended up incarcerating themselves out of agony, dignity!
You may think I’m a bit exaggerating about the situation we are in, but this is the truth. We must admit. Some students were so lucky indeed! They have been favored over others not by virtue of their hard work, but in part by virtue of their family names.
All of us can remember when we were studying at the primary school, the teacher would ask us some humiliating questions we hesitate to answer, given his absolute authority. Among those questions, I myself can remember, what does your father do? Where does he work? How many members are in your family? What kinship do you have to that X or to that Y?…etc.
You can imagine what will be the situation like when a student has no father. Or, one who’s got a father, but is practising a humble profession, not honoring the father, let alone the kid! That was terrible indeed! We all know. Those teachers, unfortunately, were not fair enough to treat the students in the same way. Children of other teachers, who used to study with us, were praised for no effort. They were rewarded many prizes in school ceremonies. More than that, the front seats would go to them. They would never be beaten or muted. They would know even the school grades before us.
Those who think that things have changed are totally wrong. Some teachers are still in the same track. If they know who you are, they will respect you, gently address you and tolerate any eventual mistake you are more liable to do. We need not generalize since an elite of teachers, to whom we must feel obliged, would never lean towards any party. What counts to them is hard work. No more, no loess!
By the present presumption, I am not evaluating teachers or even students. There are many good measures for that. By contrast, I’m concerned with the equal opportunities we ought to provide inside and outside the classroom sphere. It makes non-sense to study and be jobless, and by extension, worthless! A respectful job is surely what can grant people’s dignity. If there is no job, you are of no value. You are not much different from the toilet paper!
The questions that we urgently need to raise are as follows: do our government officials know that if we have no job, we are reduced to a sheer toilet paper? Do they know that if we are jobless, the whole society looks down on us? Do they know that our mothers suffer to death when they see us sitting for exams and being rejected as we did not meet the jury’s expectations?
When I was younger, the school examination used to frighten me a lot. My mother used to hand me two dates and a glass of milk to be able to recall the lessons I have memorized before. Whoever has not undergone the same experience, then, she/he has never had any exam. It was a monster chasing me from class to class, but the dates and the milk kindly offered to me by my mother would soothe my ongoing panic. Will our mothers continue offering us some dates when jobless? A question that only the dates and milk can answer!
Rachid Acim is a high School English Teacher in Beni Mellal, Morocco. He is a Freelance translator, writer and poet. Rachid is a contributor to Morocco World News. He can be reached at: ([email protected])
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