By Hicham Kasmi
By Hicham Kasmi
Morocco World News
Meknes, Morocco, October 9, 2012
Currently, there is a hot debate about the Moroccan educational crisis every time the ministry has a suggestion for reform and adaptations to overcome this crisis. They provide solutions based on theories developed by researchers elsewhere in a different context. They invest time and effort to study those theories, but they never question their appropriateness to our Moroccan context. This can account for the confusion that the Moroccan novice teacher feels when he first gets to the classroom. The Moroccan novice teacher graduates with a rich theoretical background that is supposed to help him dealing with every situation. To his surprise; however, these theories may not suit his working environment. So, in what follows we are going to have a look at the theories and then assess their suitability to our Moroccan context.
Firstly, one of the principles of language teaching is that it is an art and not a science. Thus, there is no guiding map that can show the teacher how to teach. Instead, it is the teacher’s role to adapt his teaching style to fit the surrounding context. Secondly, educational psychology asserts that the learning process is vulnerable to be influenced by the psychological state of the learner; hence the teacher should force the student to have an appropriate psychological state of learning. Motivation, as an example, is a pre-requisite to learning.
Teachers are recommended to motivate their students using variant techniques. Thirdly, communicative language teaching, or CLT, is the current prevailing tendency in the realm of language teaching, a lot of researchers are advocating the use of CLT in language-teaching classrooms because it fosters the communicative competence of the learner and stimulate student-to-student collaboration. Fourthly, heavy literature is devoted to discuss the integration of information communication technology, or ICT, because it provides the reader with authentic data, and develops autonomous learning. Still the question that comes to the surface is do we have the fertile land that can help these theories give rise to fruitful results?
In response to the above-mentioned theories, I shall consider the appropriateness of the Moroccan context. Concerning the idea that teaching is an art, how can a teacher adapt the teaching process to fit the context of the high mountains of middle Atlas, where students have to walk a couple of kilometers to arrive to the classroom that can’t even protect them from the frozen weather during winter? How can a teacher motivate students who are drug-addicted, can’t see the importance of studies, and have no respect toward the teacher? How can an instructor apply communicative language teaching in a crowded classroom embracing up to 50 students with mixed-abilities? How can he encourage student-to-student collaboration and group work in a small classroom? Eventually how can we integrate ICT in teaching, while in some schools, teachers can’t have a blackboard without holes? How can we integrate ICT in education while even the laboratories at the university do not contain the necessary equipments?
Reflecting upon these questions, the one can only draw the following conclusion: we are still far away from applying these theories in our Moroccan context, because our current situation does not contain the requirements of these theories. Instead, we have to adapt our situation and then adopt these theories. It’s the same as in agriculture, before planting the seeds, the farmer has to prepare the land.
Ultimately, I should admit that this is not the case in all our schools, and that there is an attempt to improve our educational system, but I should also confirm that not all our schools share the same situation, some schools do not belong to the 21st century. I should also add that this article is not in the position to provide solutions, instead it’s just an attempt to describe the impression the individual gets when trying to bridge the gap between theory and reality.
© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed