By Abderrahmane Boulmani
By Abderrahmane Boulmani
Rabat – After issuing a directive calling for the ban of extra private lessons conducted by school teachers, a debate has opened up on the subject of private lessons. Everyone from teachers, to parents, students and university graduates are all having their input in the debate.
The Ministry of Education claims that the new law is meant to promote equal opportunities for all Moroccan students. The ministry further believe that public schools are not treated as they should, they are treated like a refuge for thise teachers that also spend half their time working in private institutions. Moreover it is believed that too many teachers pressure their students to take private lessons. Not only is private tuition banned, the law also bans all public sector employees from conducting any other work for lucrative gains.
University gradutes have added that every citizen has the right to work and that public school teachers monopolize the private lessons market. If teachers continue to give private lessons, university graduates are left jobless; one graduate commented.
For students and their parents, taking private lessons is essential, as it appears that public schools are not providing a sufficient level of education. “If our schools lack pedagogical materials and sufficient teachers, how can it be believed that the ministry is aiming to provide equal opportunities for all?” A parent exclaimed. On the contrary, there remains a huge discrepency between public and private schools. Whilst public schools face over crowded classrooms and a lack of basic supplies, private schools do not face such problems.
Banning teachers from conducting private lessons adds insult to injury, according to some parents.. The insufficient school hours allocated to some subjects, and over crowded classes inhibt the learning experience. As a result, parents resort to private lessons as they do not feel happy sending their childern to untrained graduate tutors, they would rather pay for professional teachers for tuition.
Teachers believe that the claims made by the ministry for equal opportunity and calls for education improvement are nothing but empty promises. Teachers believe they are targeted for unknown reasons and feel that the government is unfair in that they turn a blind eye to other public employees doing extra lucratice work.
Not enough care is given to nurses and public sector technicians giving private lessons in biology and physics, whereas everybody is focusing their frustration on teachers, the double standard is evident and also unfair. In other sectors changes have been made, for example, when activists accused policemen and judges of corruption, the government attributed that to their low salaries, which were subsequently increased..
Training centres are vigorous in that they assure that teachers do their upmost to accommodate students’ needs, but what is lacking is the needs of teacher, these are just not being met.
The purpose of this is not to make excuses for those teachers pressuring students to take up extra lessons privately, but rather it is to call out the double standards and to emphasise that real educational reform will only come when the needs and status of teachers are taken into consideration.
Edited by Hinna Sheikh
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