By Omar Bihmidine
By Omar Bihmidine
Morocco World News
Sidi Ifni, Morocco, October 30, 2012
Corruption in nearly all its forms has been raised in the public discourse in Morocco even though nothing has been done to fight it. What has gone almost unnoticed is the corruption some graduates have resorted to in order to attain a job in the teaching profession. Compared to the past, this form of corruption has declined. But, this does not mean that it is over. What is still grave and heart-rending is that the graduates who benefited from this corruption when the latter was still rampant are still among us, working under the Ministry of Education. All this simply boils down to the fact that corruption is still rending apart our schools, for corrupt teachers, previous beneficiaries of past ill-practices, have not yet died so that corruption can die with them, too.
The history of our education is proof to this form of corruption. Many real stories still testify to this destructive corruption. As students, we often hear our parents telling each other that if bribes were not given to those in authority, none of us would land a job. We often hear even many poor families expressing their bad luck that they are not as rich as other families so that they can find someone in authority who can intervene in finding a job for their children. For sure, we no longer hear this. But, if the stories were not true, we would never have heard our families spreading news of corruption among themselves.
Back in the early 2000s, a ministerial committee was sent to Inzegan training center soon after the head of the center was caught red-handed, attempting to integrate his daughter, a graduate, into the teaching profession. His irresponsible action sparked a scandal at that time. Instantly, several employees of the Ministry of Education at the center protested and harshly deigned what the official had done, believing that graduates were not granted equal chances to the teaching profession. More shocking was the fact that after the ministerial committee delved into the case in question, it found out that a number of a graduates had already benefited and joined teaching undeservedly just because of giving bribes to the center’s head.
At this point, the bitter reality we need to bear in mind is that the beneficiary teachers, albeit very few, are still among us at our schools. Of course, no one knows them. All we know is that past corruption has not perished yet. Some of us may argue that this form of corruption was a thing of the past and that it is no longer as prevalent as it used to be. Here, we must make it clear that the ramifications of past corruption are still present and the opportunistic beneficiaries from this corruption are still alive. In other words, they are still teaching the apples of our eye and they have not retired yet. Such graduates have become teachers with money, not with competencies. And even if they happen to develop themselves professionally and teach well, they are still corrupt for the simple reason that they once undeservedly supplanted the position of those who were deserving.
In earnest, corrupt teachers are not only graduates who resorted to bribery to become one of the holders of this profession. Beneficiaries from an illegal transfer to their hometown are corrupt because they do not believe in transparency and are taking away the opportunity of those who legally deserve a transfer. They do not bear in mind that they are taking others’ vacant places of work. Many of the beneficiaries are well-recognized unionized teachers. With the winds of national and regional protests, this form of corruption has decreased. But, the beneficiaries are still alive, and the corrupt teachers are still in the profession.
I still vividly remember that many teacher trainees procured the best places of work on the basis of nepotism. For me, such teachers are corrupt regardless of whether they teach well or not, especially that such teachers are expected to resort to nepotism one day. It is a strange phenomenon that once these corrupt teachers settle and begin working, we forget that they once benefited from corruption. Rarely do we criticize them or ask to bring to justice those who aided and abetted them in the transfer or in the appointment. We often hear these stories, but we usually choose to keep our lips sealed. At the very least, we must label the beneficiaries as corrupt.
Graduates who cheated either at university or during their training are also corrupt because they earned marks they never deserved. It is sometimes thanks to these marks that they are teachers. When graduates apply for the position of teacher, they have to go through pre-selection at which point they submit their grades. Many graduates who used to cheat at university submit undeserved marks. Still, their undeserved marks are not questioned. And once they become practicing teachers, everyone forgets about the history of their academic life.
We must deem such teachers as corrupt even if they teach well in their classes. For the way they advanced towards the teaching profession was corrupt. In this regard, we must not forget that it is because of their undeserved grades that some graduates with deserved grades did not have the chance to sit for the entrance exam for the noble profession. Our problem is that we forget the history of our corrupt teachers. You know why? Probably the fact that corruption can never be associated with the noblest profession, teaching, has been instilled in our minds for long. Now, let us pluck up courage and ask about what has become of other forgotten corrupt teachers and their academic stories.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy
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