Contractual employment in the education sector was introduced in 2016, when Abdelilah Benkirane was still a head of government in Morocco.
Rabat – Former Head of Government Abdelilah Benkirane has criticized contractual teachers, who are protesting to demand permanent employment.
Benkirane spoke about the importance of work in Islam, which considers working hard as an act of worship in itself.
The former Head of Government made his remarks in Taroudant, a city near Agadir, where he was visiting a member of the Justice and Development Party (PJD).
“We have problems in health and education, that is true. But, we can improve education sector performance by 90 percent,” Benkirane said.
Other sectors can also be improved by 90 to 100 percent through making efforts and hard working according to Benkirane.
Commenting on the protests, Benkirane said that the concerned teachers will be held responsible for their duties the same way they would be held accountable for not respecting one of the most important fundamentals in Islam, such as prayers and fasting.
“I left the education sector in 1988, and I acknowledge in front of God that I was not the best professor I could have been,” he said.
Morocco, according to Benkirane, is a good country. “If you compare it to other countries, our country is way better.”
“We want a better Morocco, this is why his majesty the King [Mohammed VI] said that ‘something has been missing.’ This means that we are not how we are supposed to be. We need to be good and direct. If everyone is committed to their roles, everything will be alright,” said the former Head of Government.
Contractual employment of teachers by contracts was introduced in 2016, when Benkirane was still a Head of Government. The announcement came after a joint agreement from both the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Finance in October 2016.
The agreement stipulates that regional education academies have the right to hire teachers on a contractual basis in order to promote human resources and to curb shortage of teachers in Morocco.
The contracts, according to the government, do not allow the concerned teachers to apply for a permanent position in the education sector for the duration of the contact.
Benkirane concluded his statement by advising contractual teachers to make further efforts to promote the sector and to help improve their country.
“If you are telling me the minister or the ministry are responsible [for these issues], what will you gain? Whatever the program looks like, if you perform your duties and teach people sincerely, it will be beneficial,” he added.
His comments generated critical remarks from internet users who questioned his role in Morocco’s politics.
“Who are you Benkirane, and in what capacity are you speaking? You no longer have a role in the political arena,” said one citizen.
While Benkirane advises teacher to commit themselves and provide concrete services, the secretary-general of the Istiqlal Party Nizar Baraka said that the “government is evading responsibility for the situation of contractual teachers.”
The former minister said that the contract adopted by the government is “characterized by legal fragility, as it has nothing to do with the public employment or the labor law.”
Baraka called on the government to end recruitment through contracts and to improve the the situation of the concerned teachers.