By Salma Khaila
By Salma Khaila
Casablanca – Education is not just about learning a set of skills or obtaining a particular degree. Education forms the basis for a nation’s ability to progress and achieve social justice. However, education in Arab countries is often perceived as reducing children’s independence, self-confidence, and social efficiency, while fostering passive attitudes and hesitant decision-making skills. The result can be truly atrocious and horrifyingly wicked, creating an environment where creativity does not flourish, but actually dies.
In its current state, the education system in Morocco is definitely hindering not only the development of students’ creative abilities but also their psychological development. Teachers ask students to spit back information that they were given previously.
This “spoon-feeding” is a major hurdle our schooling systems face. Rarely are students involved in making decisions or giving suggestions. Students need to develop a sense of criticism that leads them to question themselves and the world around them. In fact, this emphasis on rote learning is affecting the cognitive development of students, and creative thinking is frowned upon and seen as subversion.
As far as students’ psychological development goes, we see that their teachers continually underestimate them and do not give them positive reinforcement for the good and hard work they perform. Without reinforcement students, will not continue to work hard and be creative. Currently in Moroccan education, students are made to feel that high achievement is impossible. There is an excessive use of shame in the classroom, and students are too often told “it cannot be done,” or “you cannot do it.”
Lack of coordination with the job market, student repression, cheating, violence, empty promises, and requests for patience: this is how education works in Morocco.
Morocco needs well-trained and patriotic students in order to have a generation that helps the country step forward. At the very least, they should be made aware of the struggles that Morocco faces and be made ready to end those struggles, no matter how deep they are. Once people grow up, if they are filled with a passion for learning, they can always discover how to think for themselves on their own, and this is what the Moroccan government should firmly grasp.
To that end, there are several methods the government can use to improve the existing system. First, educational authorities have to change their thinking. Specifically, they need to understand that creativity has three parts: expertise, the ability to think flexibly and imaginatively, and motivation.
Then they must begin to promote creativity in education. In addition, the government should increase the level of encouragement in schools. It should work on changing educators’ mentalities to promote the thought: “Failure is not an option; when success is your destination.” And lastly, it should promote fairness and equal opportunities, a greater degree of freedom regarding the educational process, and improved organizational support.
Edited by Esther Bedik. Photo by Adan Martin
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