By Omar Bihmidine
By Omar Bihmidine
Morocco World News
Sidi Ifni, October 8, 2012
Let us remind you, dear Minister of Education, that Moroccans will soon forget everything about you except how you made them feel. The teenage school girl will never forget the embarrassing situation you put her in when you suggested that she should be married. The schoolgirl’s father will never forget that you did not serve as an educated role model for his daughter, in particular, and for her fellow students, in general.
The headmaster’s secretary will never forget the injustice you did her when you addressed her as a mere girlfriend of the headmaster. Strangely, some of the minister’s sympathizers may, however, intervene and say that the minister was simply using his sense of humor. Here, we are sorry to say that these sympathizers have not the slightest idea what a true sense of humor is. When our sense of humor interferes into each other’s personal lives, it is no longer funny. And this has been the case with El Ouafa, Morocco’s minister of education.
Are we in need of a sense of humor in the presence of a destructive, worst-ever education system? Are we really in the mood to laugh when the education minister tries to make us laugh? If we are really concerned about the daily, bitter realities characterizing our education, our education minister will be the first to begin crying, then we do in our turn.
Dear Moroccan teachers, wherever you are, stand up high and raise your hands against this so-called education minister, particularly since he does not represent the right type of ‘education’. Dear teachers, are you not ashamed of yourselves when your minister talked about you in contempt and disdain? Still, no reaction has been evinced on your part!
Some proponents of the minister’s Independence party defend him, saying that we should not take his words literally and that we should always take into account his sense of humor. Perhaps, such proponents are telling us to take the minister’s statements figuratively or to read the circulars he releases between the lines. In response, we must reiterate that El Ouafa remains a minister of education after all, not a minister of humor or laughter. He must take education seriously, especially at a time when it is seriously deplorable.
It is a real pity that some teachers found the latest, scandalous statement about the schoolgirl normal. Are these teachers not yet aware that teenage schoolgirls are psychologically sensitive and any insult can be damaging to their psychological state. Whether seriously or for fun, saying that teenage schoolgirls should get married instead of studying is a disgraceful blunder on the part of the education minister. It clearly appears that the latter has no idea what creating a stress-free atmosphere at school contains. Needless to say, the education minister could never have dared say the same thing about his daughter even if just as a joke.
At a time when developed countries dismiss such ministers for simple blunders, some of our teachers, especially those surrounding the minister, keep bursting into laughter about his statements. Instead of defending the dignity of the students and the teachers the minister attacked, many of us still pardon him, and some others have gone on to pity him for his mood swings. No excuse can ever be offered to exonerate a minister, especially that of education, who has made a mockery of the employees working within the same ministry.
Some teachers have intervened, saying that the minister’s speeches have been fraught with slips of the tongue. But, do slips of the tongue occur every now and then? Surely not! Is saying that Moroccan schools are better than American ones a slip of the tongue? Is advising a teenage schoolgirl to get married for fun a slip of the tongue? Humor is out of place when our education is beset by numerous stumbling blocks, such as crowded classrooms, shortage of teachers in some remote areas, and lack of pedagogical means in most Moroccan schools.
Our calamity is that our education minister is not acutely aware of the reality of Moroccan public schools. If he were aware, he would never enrage teachers, parents, and students by his silly statements. If he were aware of what is going on in many schools, he would never utter what he uttered and talk with disdain about employees of the Ministry of Education. Our minister of education is lacking in meaningful communication. No doubt he is lacking in morals, too. All the videos published so far is proof that the man is sick of mania. Mania of mirage! He sees things differently from the rest of Moroccans.
The view expressed in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy