Sidi Ifini - Every year, the Moroccan Ministry of Education organizes challenging examinations for university graduates to qualify for teaching at primary and high schools.
Sidi Ifini – Every year, the Moroccan Ministry of Education organizes challenging examinations for university graduates to qualify for teaching at primary and high schools.
This year, in an unprecedented move, the teaching profession entrance exams , which took place September 27 and 28, contained mostly multiple choice questions and true-false exercises.
According to a number of applicants, the nature of the tests does not necessarily measure the applicants’ qualifications, competencies and skills.
While a competency-based approach has been adopted in Moroccan schools, it appears to be completely absent for applicants for teaching qualifications.
Under a competency-based approach graduates must demonstrate their ability to use a language in real and authentic contexts.
Whereas the National Charter of Education insists on assessing what graduates and students can do with what they learned at university, the examinations taken this year aim at evaluating and assessing what the applicants know, not what they can do with what they know.
The teaching profession reportedly sets higher expectations for prospective teachers than those reflected on the recent exams. As a result, this year’s experience, according to some exam-takers, may allow applicants who are not competent to teach under the profession’s standards to simply gamble on the right answers and pass.
“The History and Geography test doesn’t measure our competencies. We are disappointed to be tested this way. Even those who don’t know the right answer can gamble and succeed,” some History applicants told MWN.
“How can you assess whether applicants are worth the job if they are not given a historical test to analyze or a graph to describe?,” they added.
French and English tests pose the same difficulties. Linguists have stressed that mastery of a language mainly encompasses the ability to write accurately and speak fluently.
Yet, the excerpts of the tests show that the tests do not contain academic writing or sentence rewriting tasks in the grammar section. Similarly, the comprehension section only contains true or false questions that require no narrative explanation.
Many of this year’s applicants have posted on Facebook that the tests bear a significant resemblance to the Test of English As a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
According to TOEFL takers, those taking the test can succeed merely by gambling on the right answers and scoring well. TOEFL has long been considered by many to be questionable.
“The same is true of this year’s teaching profession entrance exams,” wrote Naima Aazdine on Facebook.
“Bear in mind that there will be surprises on the day of the results,” commented some applicants on Facebook.
“Given the nature of the tests, those who will pass the written exam will not necessarily have the competencies to fully deserve to become a teacher,” Abdellah Agouram, an applicant, told MWN.
Recently, two Facebook pages have been created to provide an opportunity to critique the examinations and the nature of the criteria set by the Ministry to measure graduates and applicants’ competence to teach.
Edited by Elisabeth Myers