Moroccan lawmakers have proposed a bill in parliament this week for a new law criminalizing the disturbance of academic exams.
Article 2-307 of the new law proposed in parliament this week would impose a prison sentence of 1 to 3 months and fines from MAD 2,000 to MAD 5,000 on anyone who attempts to prevent an academic examination process, by any means, reports Moroccan news outlet Al Massae.
The proposal received strong reactions from parliament, particularly from the deputy of the Party for Justice and Development Amina Maelainine. Maelainine expressed concerns about this “repressive” proposal, calling to cancel the blanket prison sentences.
“Our suggestion is to move away from the restriction of liberty and to instead move towards disciplinary procedures outside the criminal code,” Maelainine stated.
According to Maelainine, reports Al Massae, prison sentences would only be appropriate for those who disturb an academic exam by using violence, particularly using firearms, which is a already a crime punishable by imprisonment.
Morocco values the integrity of its education system and has strong laws against cheating in high school exams.
In September 2016, the government passed a law imposing disciplinary sanctions on students caught cheating during exams, or for falsifying or usurping identity to take an exam. These include an immediate fail, and prevention from re-taking the exam for up to two years.
It also includes criminal sanctions. Identity fraud in an exam and the leaking exam papers is punishable by prison sentences from 6 months to 5 years, and fines from MAD 5 000 ($514) to MAD 100 000 ($10,300).
The lawmakers’ proposal this week to criminalize the disturbance of exams only reaffirms its concern over exams not running smoothly.