Rabat - Omar Azziman, President of the Higher Council for Education, Training and Scientific Research (CSEFRS), expressed his views on the Islam Education textbook polemic, during an interview with MAP on January 27.
Rabat – Omar Azziman, President of the Higher Council for Education, Training and Scientific Research (CSEFRS), expressed his views on the Islam Education textbook polemic, during an interview with MAP on January 27.
According to Azziman, philosophy occupies an “irreversible place of choice” in the Moroccan Education System, and no one can deny the “decisive” impact of this discipline on the students’ education. The president of the CSEFRS stands firmly with those who speak to “consolidate, strengthen and develop it more.”
Azziman also referred to the historic legacy of this discipline. The teaching of philosophy went through three crucial periods; from Morocco’s independence to the 1970s, when this discipline was regarded as a critical part of the Moroccan educational system, to the 1970s when it was rejected and ousted.
Since the enthronement of King Mohammed VI, however, this discipline has been reintroduced and consolidated as an important component of Moroccan education, given its important role in learning critical thinking and mind formation. This process is part of the political openness and liberalization interlocked under the royal impulse.
The aim, according to Azziman, is to inspire in students the “capacity for reflection, culture, perspective and critical thinking necessary to be useful to their country and to themselves.” Regarding the “excess” that is currently influencing the debate around the content of an Islamic education manual on “faith and philosophy” has given a “negative connotation” to this debate, which in itself is a “Positive” debate.
“Philosophy teachers are worried about the fate of their discipline, their passion and protectiveness is quite legitimate and positive,” said Azziman. Recognizing this, however, he is calling for everyone to deal with this issue in the correct rational manner.
On this matter, the president of the CSEFRS stated that the textbook revision involved 29 Islamic education textbooks, while the debate focused on a single textbook. More specifically, it focused on a citation presented in the Faith and Philosophy module, which many considered to be radical and hostile to philosophy.
“Instead of taking it as a gospel word, philosophy teachers are called upon submitting this opinion for discussion,” because, explains Omar Azziman, “the most important thing is to teach students to question the ideas of others and form their own opinions.”
The concerned Council committee will try to come up with a methodology for the revision of textbooks in order to avoid a recurrence of these polemics, said Omar Azziman, calling for “serenity,” and asking “not dramatize the debates.”