By Abdellatif Oudra
By Abdellatif Oudra
Ourrzazate – I rarely take a sanguine view about the future of the Moroccan educational system, and I have always been incredulous about the reform of this sector; a sector that paved the way for progress and prosperity for some countries. I am not writing to criticize the system. My sole objective is to unveil the suffering of future teachers, meaning those in training who protest regularly nowadays due to precarious decrees.
It’s been two years since I joined the teaching profession in Morocco. The moment I passed the exam is engraved in my mind. My family and I were overwhelmed by an ineffable joy. I was elated, even though I knew that teachers in Morocco are working in an uncongenial environment. But that ineffable joy came for two reasons: I had always had a dream of being an English teacher, but the primary reason for my excitement was the job, because a job in this country equals oxygen, water, and food. Life looks so gloomy for someone without a job, especially in a country where people study for years and gain a mass of diplomas, but struggle to find work.
The would-be teachers were appalled at new decrees issued by the Ministry of Education and Professional Training. In the first decree, the Ministry callously and willfully decided to halve teachers’ scholarships. The second decree takes things go from bad to worse: the training doesn’t license the trainees to join the teaching occupation. Instead, they are supposed to sit for another qualifying exam, and if they fail, trainees only earn a diploma to enrich a résumé filled to capacity.
The would-be teachers immediately retorted “no to the decrees.” They refused to take courses or attend any classes as long as the decrees stood. As a result, they went on local strikes, but in vain. But they didn’t give up, and came out in a white march nationwide afterward.
We have to bear in mind that every teacher represents a family, and some families live in extreme poverty. The job kindled hope in their parents’ heart, because they struggled selflessly to feed, clothe, and educate their sons or daughters since infancy. Now they are considered the phoenixes that will rise and save their families from ashes of poverty.
We have to bear in mind that many of these trainees left their jobs in the private sector seeking solace in the public. I know many who used to earn high wages, but the public sector is appealing to them, despite the lower salary. What if those trainees fail to pass? What would they do after they have left their former jobs?
We have to bear in mind that among them are many who have no other destination other than teaching. It is a dream overwhelming them, and it must be set free. Now they feel that it is no longer guaranteed, despite being in the training centers.
I wonder why the Ministry shuts its ears to innocent voices heard nation and worldwide? It’s awful to protest for months in vain. I hope a satisfying solution will be found, and the sooner the better, so teachers may return to their classes, because the training is inescapable and it matters in the teaching profession.
Shrewd actions should be taken to handle this issue, because it’s not just about the would-be teachers, but about the future of Morocco.
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