By Loubna Flah
By Loubna Flah
Morocco World News
Casablanca, May 4, 2012
The Moroccan Minister of National Education, Mr. Mohammed al Wafa, was bewildered when an MP phrased her question in Tamazight, a language that has never been used before during parliamentary sessions. The MP in question is the famous Rayssa Fatima Tabaamran, a Moroccan Amazigh singer who sings and performs in her native-indigenous Berber tongue.
The Arabic speaking MPs who could not understand Mr. Tabaamran’s question insisted later in their interventions that the parliament makes necessary arrangements to provide the logistics needed for immediate translation in compliance with the constitution provisions. It is noteworthy that the fifth article of the constitution enhances the status of Berber as an official language and not a mere dialect.
Other MPs asserted that MPs from Amazigh origins equally shared the right to attend the discussion in the parliament. They urged the government to issue the parliament’s Organic Law in congruence with the constitution’s provisions regarding linguistic diversity.
Mr. Habib Choubani, the Minister in charge of relations with the parliament and civil society reassured the MPs that the Organic Law draft is almost finalized.
Ahmed Assid, a member of the Amazigh observatory for liberties and rights and former member of the administrative council of the Royal Institute for Amazigh Culture, asserted that, “the enforcement of the constitution provisions regarding the status of Tamazight cannot be guaranteed without the promulgation of the parliament organic law.”
He advocates that Tamazight should recover its status as an official language through a concrete representation in key sectors, such as education and media, especially that the specifications submitted by the Minister of Communication aim at establishing a diverse and harmonious media landscape. Mr. Assid adds that Tamazight should enjoy a fair representation in public places as well along with Arabic using the Tamazight alphabet “Tifinagh.”
The minster of national education retorted later that the government has deployed extensive resources and infrastructures to secure the teaching of Tamazight. Indeed more than 454,000 pupils were taught Berber in 4,000 schools which makes 15 percent of the total number of pupils. The minister added that the ministry of National Education had trained 14,000 teacher of Tamazight and hired 300 inspectors to monitor them.
Edited by April Warren
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