The Ministry for Education and representatives for the teachers’ unions met in an attempt to negotiate solutions for the dragging crisis currently gripping Morocco’s education system.
Rabat – Contractual teachers broke their strike, resuming classes on Monday, April 29 after months on the picket lines. Nearly two weeks later the Ministry of National Education, Vocational Training, Higher Education and Scientific Research entered into talks on Friday, May 10, to negotiate a mutual agreement with representatives of teaching bodies, including trade unions and syndicates, in the hopes of ending the crisis.
According to members of the teachers’ representatives, the outcomes of the meeting include setting a second meeting on May 23, provided that both parties relinquish their high demands to facilitate“open dialogue.”
During the meeting, the Ministry of Education promised that it will refer contractual teachers’ demands to the government amid a rising wave of week-long strikes. Cell 9 teachers, made up of 4700 teachers, are currently staging a demonstration at the Parliament building in the capital of Rabat.
During the heat of protests in Rabat and across a number of Moroccan cities, the two bodies held several meeting which did not reach a resolution, as both the education ministry and teachers’ representatives accused each other of going back on the promises made at the 13 April Meeting.
Despite returning back to work “for the sake of students,” contractual teachers, who are still threatening to hit the streets again, wore badges symbolic of ongoing protests.
Ever since the first strike broke out in Rabat in February 20, contractual teachers have been protesting employment under fixed-term contracts, which they regard “discriminatory” in that it does not guarantee them the same rights teachers on permanent contracts enjoy.
For teachers, calling for the abolition of fixed-term contracts meant enjoying social, financial, and psychological stability and no longer working “on the whims” of academy officials school directors, or inspectors, who can terminate the contract at any time under the current terms.
Teachers resorted to all sorts of protesting measures to put pressure on the government to have their demands met.
The education system is going through a period of turbulence not only at the level of staff, but also in terms of pedagogical direction, where the language of instruction has divided opinion between pro-Arabic and Amazigh and pro-French. However, the possibility of cooperation between the Ministry of Education and the teachers’ unions brings some hope of an end to the crisis.