The suspect is now in custody for sharing a false statement attributed to the Ministry of Education.
Rabat – The public prosecution office in Khouribga, in the Beni-Mellal Khenifra region, is set to prosecute a man for his involvement in sharing and attributing a fake statement to the Ministry of Education regarding the 2019-2020 academic year.
The prosecutor at the Khourbiga Court of First Instance, Ibrahim Zouhir, said the police launched an investigation into the case once the false report about a “blank” academic year in Morocco appeared online.
A “blank year” means the Ministry of Education would not count the 2019-2020 academic year.
The police investigation led to the identification of the suspect, who is now in custody for more interrogation.
On Tuesday, May 5, the Ministry of Education issued a press release to categorically deny the reports of a “blank year.”
The ministry described the information as fake news, stressing that Moroccan schools will not record a blank year despite the COVID-19 crisis.
The ministry’s statement emphasized that all news regarding exams or various operations relating to the end of the current school year will be announced through the ministry’s official communication channels.
The education ministry also warned that it will take necessary legal actions against individuals spreading fake news.
Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani made similar remarks during a televised interview on May 7, saying most students have now completed 70% of their school year through a combination of in-person and remote studies.
In addition to the false statement, the education ministry also condemned on Tuesday the increase of fake news during the COVID-19 crisis in Morocco.
The notable increase of fake news has prompted security services to launch a campaign to crack down on rumors.
The latest rumors are not the first of their kind. On May 7, the ministry released another statement, vowing to take legal action against anonymous individuals after an edited picture—purportedly showed an announcement on Moroccan television channel 2M that all students had passed the school year—went viral on social media.
Morocco suspended all public and private schools at all levels in the country beginning March 16 as part of a nationwide campaign to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The ministry launched distance learning initiatives to adapt to the new circumstances, broadcasting lectures and classes for Moroccan students via television, radio, and special websites.