By Akhajam Saad Eddine
By Akhajam Saad Eddine
Morocco World News
Rabat, June 12, 2013
I still remember when I was very young, and my father enrolled me in a school near our house. It was ironically called the “school of hope.” I think it’s ironic because all that came from my experience there was a feeling of hopelessness. The school is located in a poor neighborhood. I was lucky enough to be raised in a middle class family, but we lived near this school in the very same poor neighborhood.
Before I started primary school, I had two years of nursery school. I still remember that in the first year I was the only one who got bad marks. I got 4/20 in the first semester, and my cousin made fun of me because of my poor performance throughout the whole year. I was really depressed and I grew to hate this “school of hope.”
I really couldn’t stand going to school at that time, but I was naturally obliged to go and study in order to succeed in life. Furthermore, my father is a teacher and instilled the value of education in our family. Thus, any thoughts of dropping out, were especially unacceptable and shameful. So I carried on with my studies till the last year in primary school, when I took the regional exam. I couldn’t believe it, but all students did well on that exam. This was thanks to, in part, how well the teachers taught us. In other cases it was just a function of cheating. One of the teachers wrote the answer in my copy book herself.
All those primary teachers were the worst ones I had ever seen. It was really chaotic because either they were unsatisfied with the situation or they seemed bored with the entire education process—both their experiences teaching and our experiences learning. Our school was also the only one in Meknes that broke the golden rule of no cheating on exams. This begins a very bad habit at a young age, a habit that has started to poison Moroccan schools and student ethics.
The students were simply lazy. For example, most students didn’t care about their studies or grades. They didn’t come to class. And the grand majority did not obtain their baccalaureate degree. Even those who take the bac exam often cheat on it. The statistics on cheating on the bac are also extremely depressing. The teachers are to blame, but so is the government’s education policy in Morocco. There is no one to blame except teachers. Thank god I was safe and carried on my studies and now I m a master’s student.
I went through tough situations in which I was blamed by my father for getting bad grades, especially when I repeated my third year in middle school. It was a real challenge for me. Yet I repeated and succeeded, and from that time on I never repeated until the first year at the university level. Then I carried on my studies until I enrolled in a master program in applied linguistics.
The only piece of advice I can give to this coming generation is that education is a non-stop process, which one must cherish and cultivate as much as possible.One has to take on every challenge he or she faces with courage and perseverance because the key to a comfortable personal and professional life is a strong and consistent education. This leads to an open mind and an open spirit.
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