Kenitra - Upon the new school year, the minister of education has made a few statements about some fundamental changes that would alter the educational system in Morocco.
Kenitra – Upon the new school year, the minister of education has made a few statements about some fundamental changes that would alter the educational system in Morocco.
However, most of these changes have not been well received by the general public, especially teachers and people who work in the field of education. In fact, some of these modifications have been labeled as a cluster of rushed-out and irresponsible decisions made at the last minute without any consultation with other partners in the field.
However, the most notorious change the minister has made in his latest statement was prohibiting teachers and inspectors of the public sector to work in the private schools. This statement has created a huge buzz among the general public and while it sat well with some people, others have not been able to digest the idea. The decision has been mainly made due the complaints of parents who claim that private schools “over-use” teachers of the public sector, which affects the teachers’ performance in public schools. In other words, the common belief is that teachers work hard in private schools while they rest in public schools.
Regardless of all the implications of such decision, there are some complications that would arise immediately after putting such statement to work. For starters, Moroccan private schools use up to 90% of the public working force. This means that starting from tomorrow, most public schools will have no staff to work with, particularly teachers and inspectors. Therefore, this will ultimately lead to a huge crisis in most if not all public schools in Morocco.
This leads me to the question that many people including myself have been pondering about; it is the utterly bad timing of such proclamations. It would seem less baffling if the minister made this decision at least six months ago. This way, he would have given the private sector a chance to manage their business by finding alternatives and recruiting new staff members. Now, one can only imagine the mayhem that will catch up with private schools all over the country.
However, the premise behind prohibiting teachers from working in the private sector is not that convincing. It must be noted that a great number of teachers work in private schools to improve their income, and not because they are fond of the job. Hence, it is a socioeconomic need that has created this whole situation. Granted, there are some greedy teachers who have a decent income and they still work in different private institutions, but those are the bad apples that exist in any sector or domain, besides, they make an exception. However, the majority feel hard-pressed to look for another source of income to insure a decent life style.
Let me go back to the point why I think such a decision proves to be less convincing and less effective. The minister and all people who share his view seem to think that working in private institutions is what hinders the quality of education in public schools from reaching a better level. This is surprisingly naïve because private schools are official institutions that work within regulations and are known to the public and the government. There are other institutions however, that work in the dark such as kindergartens and other private institutions that provide services for teachers who wish to give private lessons. What about other teachers who give students evening classes at home? Even worse, what kind of law or regulation would stop some teachers from putting so little efforts in class to force their students to take evening classes? So, it seems that even with such decision, teachers who feel the need to give private lessons, are going to find multiple ways to have access to that. Perhaps, a far-reaching change would have helped more than these small touches that barely stroke the surface of the issue.
Another motivation that has been attributed to reason why the minister decided to go on this route is trying to give an opportunity to bachelor’s and master’s degree graduates to find positions within Moroccan private schools. Perhaps, it is a noble gesture to soak up a great deal of joblessness in Morocco. However, I am very skeptical about the success of this move because I simply believe that no private school would accept to employ inexperienced people, especially in the field of education. Ironically, the parents who were shouting about their students not getting a proper education in public school will also be complaining about employing incompetent teachers and educators in private schools.
In order for these bachelor’s and master’s degree holders to find their way into such private institutions, they need training which I don’t think either the private sector or the public sector are ready to invest on. Hence, I am inclined to rule this idea out because it doesn’t seem logical enough to anyone who has the least experience in the field of education.
All in all, it seems obvious by now that all the superficial decisions and insignificant modifications are never going to improve our educational system on any level; on the contrary, it will just add salt to the wounds that this field has been plagued with for decades. I think that a radical change that takes into account the overall situation of educators as well as the needs of students is the only strategy that can lift education in Morocco from its despicable state. If we are to improve this country, we need a solid, crystal clear strategy that puts the teacher’s and student’s interests and concerns above all matters.
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