By Hicham Elouardirhi
By Hicham Elouardirhi
Morocco World News
Safi, Morocco, July, 18, 2012.
One chilly morning I was late for class and striding swiftly toward school when all of a sudden I saw a large number of students clustering around the school gate, looking with eyes bulging at the school office that was burnt into cinders. “Who did that?” I overheard the students whispering.
When I myself entered the school grounds and moved myself a bit closer to the unedifying scene, I could not stand the sight of the fire that was still smoldering in the school’s office. At that very moment, a feeling of resentment and indignation overpowered me and engulfed my thoughts. The auxiliary force was already in place to guard the remains for the scientific police on whom the school staff and students pin hope to discover who committed the arson.
The students were kept outside the school for nearly half an hour before the head teacher told the caretaker to let them in to join their teachers in classes. By the time all the students were inside their warm classes, the police had arrived at the school to begin a forensic examination of the crime scene. The examination was launched with the intent to find out who knowingly started the fire or at least find a lead on the perpetrator, but it appeared that they only were looking for false proof that would save them the trouble to lay the blame on someone.
That’s why, towards the end of their so-called investigation, they claimed that the office was not broken into but that rather the fire started by itself. To this, one of my colleagues, who sensed something suspicious, believed that the police’s decision was a foregone conclusion. Then he plucked up enough courage to tell the police that the door was broken from the outside, and that it was not just an electric spark from a broken wire that brought about the fire.
Nevertheless, the investigation after all yielded no promising outcomes. Neither forensic evidence nor the real culprit was ever found. After having said that the office was burnt to ashes due to a stray electricity spark, the police immediately bid goodbye to the principal, only to leave the high school out of order. Once again, some police officers proved to be good only at one thing, that of recoiling from everything that demands hard work.
The perpetrator was never brought to justice, but the fire destroyed nearly everything. The teachers’ logs, the office locker, the principal’s comfortable chair and other very important administration documents were among the things the roaring fire devoured. One will wonder why such heinous acts happened in the first place. Who would dare set fire to public administration premises?
Lately, an immediate structural reform to the Moroccan school system has been a hot topic. Many should agree that what needs a review and a radical reform are the outmoded pedagogical practices and westernized values that are at the heart of the Moroccan syllabi. Those values students learn while developing a particular learning skill run contrary to their cultural values, customs, conventions and beliefs. Had we included particular values mirroring our own integrity and reinforcing our belongings to a Muslim country, while respecting other differences, such a heinous act of setting fire to a public building would have never been committed in the first place.
The views expressed in this article, are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World news’ editorial policy