By Abdelhak Ammari
By Abdelhak Ammari
Rabat – As Moroccans, we frequently say, “the one who lacks something cannot give.” Students currently lack something very basic. If given to them, that something could make a brighter future for Morocco and its people.
Comparing Morocco to many other places in the world, it is a common feeling that many of Moroccan university students live more miserably and insecure. Moroccan students continue to demand rights and push for a better educational system, partly because they feel that the Moroccan government marginalizes students and their plight. My experiences support that feeling.
I have been studying at university over 5 years and have experienced the university lifestyle in both Oujda and Fez. During that time, I have interacted with a variety of people, many of whom are successful and intelligent. What I have noticed is that a large number of students have something in common. That common thread is suffering from, among other things, financial and psychological problems.
Many students are enrolled in graduate programs and some deprived of scholarships. One student informed me that to continue his education, he has spent the past year borrowing money from friends. He said that his father could barely afford to give him any money because he has his own difficult financial circumstances. Due to these struggles, he is now experiencing a large amount of debt.
Another student experienced the same funding issues. Occasionally, his father would lend him money, but at other times, he borrowed from friends. He was happily surprised when granted a scholarship at the beginning of April last year. He accepted it and was able to distribute the money to those who had graciously helped him continue to pay for his education.
Opinions and attitudes may differ about financial aid and the educational system. Many believe that students must struggle and overcome obstacles in order to become strong individuals. There are many stories about successful people from all over the world that came from nothing and then achieved great things.
Another big problem a student can experience in attending university is suitable housing. As they attempt to move away from home, they find themselves astounded by the high rental prices for low quality living. This situation is unfortunate because it may keep the student from continuing the education or at a minimum make it more difficult.
All of these financial burdens create stress on the students and their families. The student wants to better himself, but then finds roadblocks to his education. Morocco’s priority must be its students working towards their educational goals.
Furthermore, students in Morocco deserve to receive their scholarships on time but this does not always happen. It appears that officials have become irresponsible and/or indifferent to the financial needs of students.
Students need security. They aspire only to live in a safe and decent residence, with a private room, desk and internet where they can study and live with relatively low stress. These bare requirements are not always able to be met. Last but not least, students should have reliable healthcare – an undisputable human need which needs to be addressed and understood.
I say to the Moroccan government, if you want something precious and better for this country then give students the basic necessities to succeed. If we can get enough help to meet educational goals while feeling financially and psychologically secure, we will fulfill our moral obligation to make our communities better. We will work responsibly and professionally to have a better Morocco, and to make a better future for our children and our children’s children.
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