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Moroccan Education Ministry Publishes List of Teacher Absences, Union Says It Violates Instructors’ Rights

Mohammed Hassad, Minister of National Education

Rabat – After sparking outrage among teachers’ unions by publishing a list of teachers absent during the month of September, Minister of Education Mohammed Hassad has justified the list by saying it works in teachers’ favor.

During a parliamentary session on Tuesday, Hassad published a list of 160 teachers absent during the month of September, out of his stated desire to change “misdeeds.”

When announcing the list, the ministerreferred to a prophet’s hadith: “Whoever amongst you sees an evil, he must change it with his hand; if he is unable to do so, then with his tongue; and if he is unable to do so, then with his heart; and that is the weakest form of Faith.”

The incident was followed by a call for a strike by three teachers’ unions this Thursday to protest against the publication of the list.The unions published a statement saying that the publication of the list “violated the legal rights of teachers.”

The ministry then justified its action, saying that the “the publication of the list is in factin the interest of teachers. They are often accused of absenteeism, and the figures presented show the opposite.”

The total number of absentees among the teaching staff during the month of September “has reached 611 absentees, or 0.25 percent of the total number of teachers in Morocco, or 236 thousand teachers.”

“The number of medical certificates received by the Ministry in September reached 430 certificates covering 2,539 days of work, out of an estimated absence of 2,985, thus the majority of absences are justified.”

Meanwhile, unjustified absenteeism will be dealt with in accordance with the penalties of the Labor Code, the minister said, adding that it will continue publishing a monthly list of the total absences.

 

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