The low standards in Moroccan schools, especially in rural areas, hinder children’s education.
Rabat – A group of Moroccan pedagogical inspectors gathered on Thursday, January 10, at the National Union of the Moroccan Press in Rabat to discuss the country’s education system, from pedagogy to human resources.
The meeting, attended by Morocco World News, voiced concern for the fate of the Moroccan educational system because it still suffers from deficiencies and poor infrastructure.
It starts with teaching methods. In 2000, Morocco decided to move from a system of “pedagogical goals” to “competency-based learning.”
The approach of pedagogical goals is more traditional, relying on a general subject rather than objective teaching. It also focuses on discipline and what students will learn from specific lessons at a specific period of time rather than students’ creative abilities.
Meanwhile, competency-based learning focuses on each student’s learning abilities, considers the pace by which a student can learn, and encourages more interactions between the student and teacher to develop critical, creative thinking, and argumentative skills.
However, according to the Association of Pedagogical Inspectors, Moroccan schools continue to rely on pedagogical goals rather than the competency-based learning method when it comes to exams,creating confusion for students.
While school curricula and class activities may rely on the competency-based learning method, tests and exams may, for example, require answers that are heavily focused on memorization.
The association presented reports on the situation, which also reflect a recent World Bank report titled “Expectations and Aspirations: A new framework for education.”
According to the report, Morocco and other MENA countries’ curricula rely heavily on rote learning, memorization, and repetition, an educational system that focuses on “passive learning” and “violent discipline.”
The research found 60 percent of eighth-grade students in Morocco are required to memorize facts, mathematics and science rules, and the “procedures” of most lessons, if not all.
Deficiencies in the country’s educational system is not news to Moroccans. The association criticized some school administrators and teachers, especially those working in primary education.
The association also noted that primary school children have poor knowledge accumulation which could also be blamed on teacher absenteeism.
Girls’ education still at risk
When it comes to infrastructure, the association noted based on a number of reports by pedagogical inspectors in Morocco, that many schools with 700 or 800 students have only two or three toilets. Students have no choice but to take turns.
It is especially hard for girls, who often drop out due to the poor infrastructure.
Meanwhile, ironically, other educational institutions in Morocco are over-equipped, for example having 24 restrooms for 25 students.
Similarly, in August, Morocco’s Court of Auditors identified serious deficiencies in public and private schools regarding infrastructure, reception capacity, and the number of teachers.
In its 2016-2017 annual report, the Court of Auditors noted deficits in the basic facilities of some schools, such as connections to drinking water, electricity, and sewage.
Some other schools did not have basic infrastructure such as fences, sanitary units, sports fields, multimedia rooms, libraries, internet connections, and teaching materials.
The report also cited the lack of pedagogical inspectors’ supervision of teachers, especially through continuous training.