By Omar Bihmidine
By Omar Bihmidine
Morocco World News
Sidi Ifni, Morocco, April 18, 2012
As was the case with previous governments, hundreds of unemployed graduates are still taking to the street in Rabat, calling on the current government to directly integrate them into the teaching profession without any conditions as opposed to their counterparts who have joined the same profession with hard conditions. The latter simply take the form of pre-selection, the phase in which only graduates with higher grades are entitled to attend the exam rooms, the written exam, the oral test, and finally a training year, the last phase in which newly-hired graduates equip themselves with the necessary tools to be prepared for a challenging teaching career.
As the Moroccan Ministry of Education itself has stated in many of its circulars, no graduate is allowed to become a tenured teacher unless he or she go through the aforementioned conditions. The grave mistake the previous ministries made is when it gave the green card to the exception that prove the rule. Concerned here are the unemployed graduates who have demanded condition-free and immediate recruitment in the teaching profession.
They base their demand on the previous, yearly intakes of unemployed graduates in the late nineties and early 2000s. The ministry justifies the condition-free recruitment by the dire need to fill the gap in many remote areas where there is a need of some teachers. The justification, regrettably, is unconvincing, particularly that graduates’ competence comes first, then graduates’ unemployment.
The crux of the matter doesn’t lie in the possibility that they will be recruited once and for all, but in the preposterous and illegal decision the government take if it responds to this category. I am for employing graduates as I am for giving all graduates equal chances. The questions that I would like to direct towards the unemployed so that I will not be accused of being inconsiderate are: Is it fair to recruit some graduates through testing and others without testing?
Is it fair to set high grades for some graduates as a condition, and hire other graduates without taking account of their grades? Is it fair to train some graduates to become ‘fully-fledged’ teachers and to send other graduates to the class without any prior training? Is it fair to pay condition-free newly-recruited teachers more than condition-set newly-recruited ones?
The victims of the decision of Abass Fassi’s government are students who will be deformed by their untrained teachers. Students’ calamitous performances are, among other things, a sign that the teacher hasn’t done the job in the right way. These teachers themselves once they are appointed in this illogical manner begin to incessantly complain about their suffering in class and their inability to make their students assimilate their lessons.
Some others go on to complain that they don’t master the subject matter well enough to live up to the expectations of the students. The mystery to many of us must be how come we appoint a graduate to teach a class without even testing whether the graduate is competent enough, whether he is well equipped with the necessary tools needed for an easy transmission of lessons and whether he masters specialty.
At last, the government has at the very least dug up one of the reasons behind the calamity of our education as Mr. Benkirane, head of the current government, released a statement in which he admitted that directly recruiting unemployed graduates without setting conditions is against the law.
Why is it against the law? Simply because it is the law itself that sets conditions for those who want to join the teaching profession. Benkirane went on to accuse the previous government of this leniency towards the M.A. holders in that the latter didn’t necessarily need to pass the entrance exams to become teachers.
Now, to our astonishment, we conclude that the yearly intake of graduates does nothing but encourage more idleness and too much dependence for the simple reason that whoever failed the exams leading to teaching only had to obtain an M.A., join their protesting compatriots in Rabat, get beaten and caned for a year or so, and then teach as high school teachers.
The bitter injustice is that the graduates who go through this mysterious and illogical recruitment are rewarded with scale 11 the minute they set foot in the school they’re appointed in, whereas the graduates who go through comprehensible and logical recruitment are ‘rewarded’ with scale 9 or 10 at the most only after going through a one-year training.
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.
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