Fez - The Moroccan educational system has suffered from a variety of issues, and continues to be among the worst educational systems not only in the Arab world, but also around the globe. Different categories of people, from researchers and educators to laymen and illiterate people, have expressed their dissatisfaction with the status of our educational system. Despite the many reforms and “reforms of the reforms” presented by the government at different levels, one can observe that our educational system continues to suffer from serious problems across many areas.
Fez – The Moroccan educational system has suffered from a variety of issues, and continues to be among the worst educational systems not only in the Arab world, but also around the globe. Different categories of people, from researchers and educators to laymen and illiterate people, have expressed their dissatisfaction with the status of our educational system. Despite the many reforms and “reforms of the reforms” presented by the government at different levels, one can observe that our educational system continues to suffer from serious problems across many areas.
Going through the intricacies and the seriousness or the different forms of these problems would not be of use, as this would require covering all the educational domains on all their levels. However, the purpose of this article is to discuss the problem of our educational system from a different perspective. As far as I am concerned, our educational system suffers from a problem of perceptions. That is, what Morocco needs is not only a reform of approaches, methods, techniques, curricula, syllabi, or educational programs, but also a reform of perceptions and mentalities.
When we think about the way students perceive their education, one might find large gaps that lead to negative circumstances. When a student enters the university, he or she enters a new realm that is absolutely different from high school. In their years in high school, many students in Morocco think of education as a means to achieve their goals. Most of them perceive their studies as a means to get a diploma so that they can get their baccalaureate and access well-known institutions (such as ENCG, ENSA) or enroll at a medical school. However, many of them suffer from problems with their orientation, and end up studying what they did not intend or have passion for. As a result, education for these students becomes only a means to get a diploma, to get a good job with a good salary, and to toss the books into the dustbin. Let us think hard about this mentality: if all students who get access to higher education followed the same path and struggled to finish their studies quickly in two years or so and access the job market, we would end up with deteriorated universities with empty research labs, where knowledge would become only a means to get access to a job.
In fact, it is this manner of thinking that leads students to many problems. A large number of students at the university level spend their years hanging around the university’s doors and hallways, wasting time at home until the exam period. At this period, these students become highly alert as they start putting all their techniques and abilities into practice. From cheating in exams to pleading with professors for good grades, students become obsessed with the average score in the subjects they study. Getting the average and getting rid of that subject becomes the dream of their lives. The problem with this mentality is that students show up at the beginning of the school year and ask whether or not certain professors give good grades, instead of asking whether or not they teach well
In the light of this, a close look at this category of students leads us to question their place in the Moroccan university. What would our educational system gain from these students if they start their university years with an obsession with grades? They will end up as a burden on society. Therefore, one of the obstacles facing our educational system is this type of mentality filling the universities and higher educational institutions.
Thus, rethinking the Moroccan educational system requires rethinking the perceptions of our students. From an early age, students need to be brought to question the role of their education. They need to determine the goals behind their studies and follow them. They need to question the utility of a subject or a branch of study for them. They need to become obsessed with knowledge instead of being obsessed with grades and professors. They need to think of education and knowledge as a goal in itself with no end, as we all know that education does not stop after graduation or after getting a job. What is more, they need to think of education not as the means to get a job and a good salary, but as a means to serve our society, to help others, to lead other people and guide them, to educate, to share our experiences, and think of the coming generations that will follow. It is only through changing the perceptions of our Moroccan students that our educational system can evolve and flourish.
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