By Sara Amiri
Wisconsin – Education in Morocco is often described with a sense of disappointment and anger.
It is believed to be the most important factor in the development of the country. After all, it is making sure that generations of bright, efficient, and civilized individuals continue to drive the country forward economically, politically and socially.
This importance of education is being used as a political tool to attract and engage voters, alluding people to truly believe that a better education system is the sole responsibility of the government.
The reality is that despite the relatively mediocre education system that many of us are enraged about, many students have managed to have a beneficial educational experience in the tiniest of villages, unidentifiable to the average Moroccan. This successful experience is, without a doubt, attributed to the ambitious and intelligent nature of the student, but also attributed to their educators, specifically, the educators who inspire and believe in the student’s abilities to succeed and see beyond the limited and not-so-engaging education system.
A great educator inspires students and motivates them. A great institution leader creates that perfect learning environment and engages in the short and long term education of the students. In Morocco, there are many examples within this new generation of hard-working, open-minded, and committed university and school leaders who are ensuring that students see and utilize a variety of learning and personal development opportunities.
Professor Yassine Zarhloule, Director at EST Oujda is a great example representing this group of optimistic leaders within Morocco’s educational institutions. In a short period of time, he was able to apply international standards in his institution. Inspiring students as a professor, he now continues inspiring both students and professors as a school director. His positive attitude and optimism can be seen during the very first few seconds of interacting with him.
When students come to him seeking help he welcomes them with a listening ear and a warm smile. He goes above and beyond his daily dictated responsibilities as a school director, by continually looking for ways to improve his school’s teaching methods and by bringing new opportunities to students and professors at EST Oujda (ESTO). His open door policy and closeness to his students allows him to directly and positively impact them on a daily basis.
“I never went to his office and he turned me down. He always motivates us and provides us a space to work on our creative projects,” says ESTO student Mohammed Ayyadi when asked about Yassine Zarhloule “Moreover, he gives us feedback on our projects and provides mentorship so we can improve our work.” Watine Latnine, also an ESTO student adds: “His passion and dedication to his job has given us a great role model to follow”.
Yassine’s closeness to his students can be seen in his frequent interactions with students seeking advice, help, or simply a listening ear. These student testimonials show how much Yassine’s work is appreciated within ESTO and that more examples like him are needed in Morocco’s educational institutions where students are in a desperate need of mentors and role models.