By Mehdi Bourakkadi Idrissi
By Mehdi Bourakkadi Idrissi
Morocco World News
Fez, June 13, 2012
Generations change, traditions don’t. This time of year as many of you Moroccans know or heard of through our very savvy local TV channels, we experience what I call the “high school harvest“ or in your words “The Baccalaureate.” Why do I call it as such? Easy. The atmosphere surrounding this period of test is more like an urban market on a Thursday morning. The crowds are there, the noises, everybody speaking the same words but meaning different things. The families making it a big deal and almost worshiping the kid that is taking it, as for him not to get disturbed or distracted ..
Yes of course they are entitled to provide the best conditions for their children to work in, but wasn’t it the case of old generations as well? They succeeded without, so what changed? I tell you what changed. We got worse.
The abysmal state of our educational system is no breaking news for us, nor have we just noticed it … This has been going on for years and years now. A multitude of pilot projects, which are actually failed programs of other countries and none of them are really ours, strategies that go as far as papers and never see the light, the lack of means and funds to improve this system. Or a lack of will. We can’t know for sure which is which – a field that has been unkempt for so long regardless of people’s demands. But somehow as our beloved country went through many political reforms in the short months that proceeded, we held on to a little hope that things may get better. That education might as well be put in front of our big issues of the country, and thought that this exam being the first real test that the new minister had to deal with, will perhaps give us a clear idea about what to expect in the future.
Days before today, through our brilliant TV channels covering the main events happening in our country, we got the chance to hear a beautiful prose , marvelous words that entice the throng. Somewhat like that honeyed charm a rapist uses so effectively to lull his victims. Strong statements were made, giving us the guarantee that such an important event will not go without important measures. That the conditions will be strict, honest and greatly punishable in case they get broken. No phones allowed, no internet, some also talked about vans made to cause network interference for such devices not to work .The system appeared to be getting sturdy . . . at least for a short while.
This morning, on the first day of tests … short minutes after the beginning of the exams… they were all over the Internet. Pictures of the exam papers, put on Facebook through a page called ” Tasribat ,” where you could see images of the tests, with answers at times being discussed as the exam is happening. A few minutes after many pages or forums like Startimes were publishing live pictures and questions of the tests also with answers.
This happens every year in the forum called Startimes, but it has been mainly wrong for the past years except that this time, these were the real tests for most of them. Confirmed by the date on the top of the papers “Baccalauréat 2012″ and also by students whom to their biggest surprise after finishing their work found their exam on the web.
A huge wave of outrage followed this announcement on social media websites. People strongly condemned such sloppiness in the execution of orders. Not only were phones and Internet allowed inside classrooms, but to be used so frequently and repetitively to send pictures and discuss answers raised a whole lot of questions. Where are the school executives? The teachers? Every responsible person in charge of the confiscation of these materials? Questions without answers of course, but the funny thing about this is that the ministry seems remotely uninterested by what’s happening on the web and denying it scornfully as has stated Hespress.
We can dwell all year long about what is wrong with the system and I doubt that would be enough, now I guess it is more than time to discuss what could be done to shun from dealing with this same matter in the upcoming years. I asked this question on Twitter and a few ideas were suggested:
Some cared to add a touch of humor to it, desperate measures for desperate times.
Most of the people suggested that the persons behind the Facebook pages and the forums should be harshly lynched.
None of us could’ve really feigned indifference toward such an alarming situation. Having experienced this extravaganza myself and also with my younger brother, I‘m perfectly aware of what follows. This bachelor Degree maybe just a paper at first, but a little after, it will decide very much your future.
Last year for instance the grades of the Bachelor students were oddly high, multiple lists with 18 and 19 in their marks, enough for you to believe that Morocco either has the best educational system ever built, or is fully inhabited by geniuses. Sadly enough it is none of the two. Private schools caring more about their finance balance than the quality of its teachings, helping their kids by firing up their marks, and soon after that some of the public schools started doing the same, under the name of what could be seen as equality of chances.
Our putrid and venal attitude towards all of our problems, not only education, pushes us to meander around the answer. Henceforth we seldom seek a true solution, we spend our days haranguing that we are making things right, however; we are only looking at the tip of the iceberg and we scarcely care about what’s under the sea.
This remains an open article, and I would appreciate it if you could share with us what, in your opinion, can help us reform this agonizing field.
Edited by April Warren
Mehdi Bourakkadi Idrissi, is a student at the Faculty of Medicine of Fez-Morocco. Co-founder and member of the directing Committee of the NGO Teach4Morocco. He is interested in education, sports, social media, religions and politics.
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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