Sidi Ifni- Reforms upon reforms, approaches upon approaches, and, debate upon debate and yet, the education system in Morocco has grown to be more deplorable than ever before. The king's latest speech testifies to the fact that nothing has changed in regards to the current, ignominious state of education.
Sidi Ifni- Reforms upon reforms, approaches upon approaches, and, debate upon debate and yet, the education system in Morocco has grown to be more deplorable than ever before. The king’s latest speech testifies to the fact that nothing has changed in regards to the current, ignominious state of education.
In 2009, the Ministry of Education launched a three-year Emergency Plan in order to put an end to the calamitous state of the education system. However, towards 2013, the Plan proved to be a failure, and another alarm bell tolled. At this point, parents, students, teachers and society at large have evinced their disappointment and disgruntlement at the education system’s shortcomings.
Researchers, educators, specialists, trainers, and education experts have all been called upon by the Ministry to voice their opinions, to mull over the educational crisis, to straighten out the mystery of the system, to suggest practical solutions, and to make use of their hands-on experience and put into practice their vision. Notwithstanding, they have failed to live up to the society’s expectations.
Morocco World News recently talked to several teachers about this thorny issue. They claim that particularly teachers are the agents of change in classrooms and they are the ones doing the job of teaching.
Whereas some teachers have leveled criticism against the policies of the Education Ministry, others put the blame on the state for failing to come up with a comprehensive solution.
“Our Ministry does not listen to us. We have our own views, ideas, needs, suggestions, and demands that are worth listening to,” Najib Saadi, an Arts teacher from Agadir, told MWN.
“How can we reform our education if the Ministry has no idea of what is going on in classes,” Saadi added.
Some other teachers called for their rights as teachers to earn an upgrade in their salaries, a respectable appointment, and pursuit of their studies, pointing out that their unfulfilled demands aggravate the situation of education.
“The Ministry sets stumbling blocks to our professional developments. Article 108, related to upgrading, must be restored. We have diplomas, like M.A.s and B.A.s. Normally, they entitle us to receive an upgrade. But, we haven’t received anything so far,” newly hired teachers with a B.A. told MWN during a protest in Rabat.
“How can education move forward if these simple demands remain unanswered? How can teachers enjoy their work if their rights are being confiscated?” they asked.
Mohamed Bahamed, a teacher trainer of French from Inzegan’s training center, said: “Teachers are overworked and underpaid and this is one of the reasons why education hasn’t improved.”
“It is time the Ministry looked to teachers for their suggestions; teachers in Morocco are not given any value despite the fact that they are the holders of the profession. They must be involved in reforming education,” he added.
The states’ policies, some teachers said , have deliberately deteriorated the quality of education.
“The state is not willing to educate Moroccans; education, for the state, means calling for rights, demonstrating, and taking to the street. Decision-makers are afraid of educated people, “an teachers’ union member told MWN on condition of anonymity.
Criticizing the adopted education reforms is not something new, and the education charts are full of ways of developing teaching and learning in schools.
Yet the public education sector is still considered by many of the interviewed teachers to be on its deathbed.
The only untried solution is for the government to listen to teachers’ needs, fulfill their demands, and apply some of their suggestions, some other teachers told MWN.
“We are sick and tired of the pedagogy, teaching methods and approaches that are tried upon us. We are tired of applying approaches today and giving them up tomorrow. We are tired of foreign experts’ suggestions,” Abdelhamid Mourabit, a science teacher, told MWN.
“Time ahead of us will tell what is really amiss in our education. I am sure many things are wrong. I think that not listening to teachers aggravates education in the extreme, “Samira Achkri, a newly-appointed teacher from Tan tan, told MWN.
It is worth noting that the start of the new school year, 2013-2014, marks a hot debate about Morocco’s education system.
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