By Youssef Sourgo
By Youssef Sourgo
Morocco World News
Casablanca, March 17, 2013
In what seems to be a new episode of his informal interactions with the public on educational matters, Mr. Al Wafa, the minister of national education, has appeared in a new video casually chatting with a group of women, apparently representing the public/private teaching sector.
Entitled “Teachers Gathering: A Communicative Meeting with Al Wafa,” the video features the minister of national education having informal, fragmented short chats with female teachers surrounding him. Seizing the informal communicative opportunity offered by the minister of national education, the teachers vocalized their concerns, queries, and criticism of the Moroccan educational system to Mr. El Wafa. Others, however, contented themselves with listening and observing, and even taking pictures of the minister whilst he was answering the other teachers’ queries.
From randomly pulling him from his shoulders all the way to whispering in his ears, the female teachers in the video did their utmost to make their concerns heard by Mr. Al Wafa. For his part, Al Wafa did not seem to mind the blaring voices coming from the various sides of the circle of which he was the center, and appeared to endeavor to listen with concern to each teacher individually and answer her query.
The number of teachers in the public sector who do not have set work schedulesis the first information that Mr. Al Wafa reveals right at the beginning of the new video. According to the minister, 2700 middle-school teachers, and apparently 880 high-school teachers of physics and math do not have set schedules. Having unfolded these figures, Mr. Al Wafa denounced what he called the “unethical resorts” in the ministry of national education.
Sharing his opinion on teachers’ deservingness of promotion, precisely on teachers who have spent long years in education, Mr. Al Wafa testified that “I have discovered, three months ago, that promotions were granted to those novice, certified teachers, instead of those who spent long years as teaching practitioners and have not been promoted despite their unquestionable deservingness.” Mr. Al Wafa thus promised to ensure the promotion of all those teachers during this year, based on their seniority.
After listening to the complaint of one of the teachers about not having been given her exam memorandum, Mr. Al Wafa responded in what seemed to be a typically comical, yet accurate, statement of his: “You can get that on the net!”
At around the end of the video, Mr. Al Wafa was asked about the issue of teachers’ exams. Commenting on the issue, Mr. Al Wafa affirmed that “teachers’ exams, unlike the preceding years, are going to be thematically congruent with the professional orientations of the field this year, rather than about irrelevant and orthogonal thematic issues.”
Mr. Al Wafa’s new episode of ‘Listen to the teachers!’ culminated with clamorous shouts of appreciation and requests for photos with the minister of national education. As to the comments that were generated subsequent to the upload of the video in concern, most Moroccans seemed to now be accustomed to such episodes of Mr. Al Wafa speaking in informal settings about educational concerns. Father than that, most responses hailed Mr. Al Wafa’s “humbleness” and “down-to-earth ear,” as he, unlike other ministers, “go down to the streets to listen to the people’s needs,” as figured in one of the comments on the video.
However, other responses to the video did not seem to be in favor of the minister of national education. Representatives of this category of reactions disapproved of the minister’s random and ineffectual way of addressing issues pertaining to the educational realm. Other reactions speculated the repercussions of such casual meetings on the image of Morocco and Moroccan policy, comparing Mr. Al Wafa’s methodology with that of foreign ministers of national education.
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