By Hicham Kasmi
By Hicham Kasmi
Morocco World News
Meknes, Morocco, January 04, 2013
Ideally, school should be the core of society. It should be the reference of modernity, creative ideas, and the place where all society members can have guidance and insightful pieces of advice. There should be very strong ties between school and society, and the function of the school transcends “the mere” teaching of children. However, our Moroccan reality is far away from this. It is not an exaggeration to say that the Moroccan school is in one planet and the society is in another planet. In our Moroccan conception, school is the territory of infants that should never be crossed by elders or parents, which results in a huge gap between our schools and society. Actually, all this brings to the surface one single question: How can we bridge the gap between schools and society?
At the onset, it must be made clear that bridging the gap between school and society is never a trivial goal. Hence, there’s a great need for a long-term national plan that embraces all the participants: government, teachers, students and society. All these members should have the will and determination to eradicate the alienation of our schools, and be ready to devote all the time and effort needed for this objective. Still, one logical question is: what are the practical steps and projects that can make this objective a reality?
I think that the first thing we should do is to indulge schools in partnerships with local foundations and associations. So, for example, whenever there is an activity or voluntary work addressed to a certain population, school should be an active participant. This way, individuals will feel that the school is offering help to them, and that it is an effective institution in society. However, this orients us to the financial issue. If we want our schools to be able to do this, the government should reconsider the budget of our schools.
Moreover, school should be reactive to the surrounding environment. Whenever there is a social phenomenon, the school should encourage students to conduct research about this phenomenon under the guidance of teachers and organize study days outside its walls. This way we are going to achieve two goals: First, students are learning new ideas, realizing the feasibility of what they learn, and simultaneously have the opportunity to apply what they learn (which can surely motivate them). Secondly, we are sensitizing society members about new phenomena, and building trust between school and society.
Additionally, school should be open to all society members; parents should have a clear idea about the curriculum, the evaluation, and the importance of each department in the job-market. Schools should also organize regular meetings with parents, telling them about the progress and lacunae of their children. Admittedly, we already have the family association with our education institutions, but it is ineffective, and not all parents are interested in the studies of their children. I say let’s address those who are interested, and slowly the number will surely increase.
In conclusion, this article is my reaction to the “divorce” between school and society. Actually, the ideas maybe judged as idealistic or as the mere thoughts of a dreaming novice teacher, but it’s dreaming that triggers creativity. So, let’s dream of a better future in which school is the core of society, and the first destination for all solution-seekers. Let’s dream of a future when school is the wagon that carries society into a modern and better life, and the teachers are the lamps that light the way. Let’s dream of a future when there is no gap between our Moroccan schools and society.