By Imane Tyane
By Imane Tyane
Rabat – Moroccan teachers accuse the Ministry of National Education of failing to maintain the educational system by continuing a series of questionable decisions attacking teachers’ interests and increasing the ongoing tension caused by the Ministry’s non-democratic, segregating decision that prevents teachers from completion of graduate degrees.
The Minister of National Education, Mr. Rachid Belmokhtar, quite unexpectedly announced that his Ministry does not intend to license teachers to pursue their university studies in master’s and PhD programs at a press conference organized on September 11 in Rabat. He stated that it is not reasonable for the Ministry to provide teachers with permits to advance on the certification scale at the expense of their students, suggesting that teachers’ foremost concern is to improve their status and succeed in administrative upgrades.
On the other hand, Moroccan teachers and representative unions reacted with disappointment to the Ministry’s ban and insisted on teachers’ right to enroll in graduate university programs while protesting that this decision is another blow to teachers’ basic rights of professional and academic development. Surprisingly, there is no legal evidence in the Ministry law that imposes on the Minister to grant teachers an upgrade after receiving a certificate, so why prevent teachers from obtaining master’s and PhD certificates?
It is true that some of the professors who are allowed to continue their studies do not take the interests of students seriously as evidenced by repeated absences. Yet why does the Ministry feel the need to adopt a policy of collective punishment to punish even those who adhere to attendance and care for their students’ interests? The problem lies not in follow-up study licenses, but in the absence of professional conscience, work ethic and the respect of the law.
Additionally, is the Ministry not aware of the importance of providing teachers with opportunities to increase their knowledge and strategies in order to improve their teaching practices and become better educators? Should the Ministry not call for open discussions for the involved parties to guarantee teachers’ rights to professional development? Not to mention to invoke the rights of students and teachers’ responsibilities instead of preventing the latter from continuing their studies and renewing their passion for the fields they chose to pursue?
In another surprising turn, as a response to the union’s protest against the ban, the Minister of National Education held a meeting with the five most representative unions in which he revealed that Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane has ordered all Ministries to prevent their staff from participating in graduate studies.
However, the union leaders confirmed the existence of multiple ministerial sectors which have licensed their employees to participate in graduate studies, suggesting that the ban is a Ministry decision and not of the government. Nevertheless, the Minister insisted that the decision is the government’s and addressed the unions by saying that they can resort to the judiciary if they are not happy with the decision.
Outraged by the Minister’s statement, the representative unions condemned the absence of a real partnership between them and the Ministry because the latter has not involved them in major decisions. The unions have vowed to challenge the ban preventing teachers from completing their studies with unprecedented protest.
© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed