By Omar Bihmidine
By Omar Bihmidine
Morocco World News
Sidi Ifni, Morocco, March 9, 2013
Dear Minister of Education,
First of all, let me wish you success in your venture to reform the educational system. As Minister of Education, you must already know how powerful motivation is in the field of education. You must also know that students learn best through motivation and teachers teach better with the same drive. So, it is no use reminding you of all this. But, given the fact that you have not yet grasped the idea, let me remind you once again that your Ministry is waging a war against teachers and putting teachers’ motivation at risk. The secret to successful educational systems in the world is motivation. Let us then learn from others’ experiences.
We teachers are not against cutting from our salaries in principle. But, before cutting, think first about why teachers have gone on strike and meet their demands rather than repress them. Try to improve their working conditions rather than worsen them. With every reform, nothing has had an effect so far simply because teachers still suffer. If you deny teachers the right to go on strike, you are then confiscating their rights. And when you confiscate their rights, you are taking away their motivation. When motivation is taken, the educational system is quickly moving backward.
Have you not figured out the secret to reforming education systems? Or you are probably turning a blind eye to the secret and pursuing the same policy the government has adopted to make illiteracy grow rampant. For in illiteracy, the government becomes free to do what it likes with no dissenters to oppose it and no militants to claim the rights of citizens.
Let me remind you that currently teachers with bachelor and master degrees are calling for the right of promotion, which your Ministry has annulled. And in response, on a video showing you talking during an interview, you said that as long as you are the Minister of Education, no teachers of these kinds are going to be promoted with their diplomas. What even worsened the atmosphere of your intervention is that you spoke with aplomb and in a mocking manner. You were giving these teachers the impression that their promotion is in your hands and without pleading for your consent, they are to be pitied.
I am afraid that if you compare your handicapped attitude towards teachers’ basic demands with that of Finnish or French Ministers of Education, you will feel so sorry for your slips of the tongue and for your grave mistakes against our education system. You are not a Minister of Laughter or Fun so that you can talk the way you like and crack a mis-placed joke whenever you like. First and foremost, you are a Minister of Education. I am sorry you do not know what education is. Education is development. Education is improvement. Education is going forward. So far, all the interviews you have given and the conferences you attended have only shown us that education for you is threatening teachers, making a mockery of employees of the Ministry, and moving backward rather than forward.
Do not you know that by preventing teachers the right to pursue their studies, you are disallowing them from professionally developing themselves? Do not you know that by cutting teachers’ salaries, you are de-motivating them and making them hate the noblest profession? Do not you know that when the right of promotion is confiscated once and for all, you will rarely hear of teachers pursuing their studies to earn more diplomas, you will rarely meet teachers with higher degrees like M.A. and PhD and you will impoverish teachers and make them lead miserable lives?.
If you are at a loss and not knowing what to do, go and learn from others’ experiences. By then, I am certain you will not help criticizing some of the decisions made by your Ministry. In case you are powerless with regard to making the right decision, at least do not utter foolish and preposterous statements which you will regret uttering later as you have done many times. As a matter of fact, gone are the days when the Minister of Education had the final say with no one with the right to disagree with him. Gone are the days when the Minister of Education issued circulars, depending on his mood. It is now time to consult teachers and sit with them at a table,to figure out what they need to make our education system move forward. They are the ones teaching students, not you neither your vice-heads.
Dear Minister of Education, no one can deny that it is time to give back the prestige and honor to teachers for their noble profession. You yourself said that in the parliament. But your words and actions do not go well with each other. What you say in principle goes against what you do in practice. Is abolishing the right to strike the only weapon teachers have a sign of deference for teachers? Is making fun of them while they are interviewing you a sign of genuine communication that you in principle believe in? Is your excessive self-confidence in discussions with teachers a sign of successful communication between the Ministry and the holders of the noble profession? A number of your videoed interviews, conferences and presentations are living proof of these ‘accusations’.
Last but not least, it can be taken for granted that without teachers’ satisfaction, no reform can be attained. Bear in mind that the war the Ministry and the government have waged on teachers has culminated in this rampant illiteracy we see everywhere. Remind yourself from time to time of the ignominious ranking Morocco holds amongst the world’s education systems. Enough is enough of your foolish statements and of your lackadaisical Education Ministry.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy
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