Baccalaureate exams, considered to be the most important in a student’s life, are set to begin on July 3.
Rabat – Morocco’s Ministry of National Education has taken all the necessary measures to provide baccalaureate candidates with conditions that guarantee their safety from the COVID-19 pandemic, Minister of Education Said Amzazi said.
The baccalaureate exam represents an important and fundamental step and all relevant actors are mobilized to carry out their duties, Amzazi said during a meeting with the Committee of Education, Culture, and Communication at the House of Representatives on Tuesday, June 30.
Morocco is committed to ensuring the success of the baccalaureate exams, despite the change in circumstances that come with the COVID-19 pandemic and preventative measures, he stressed.
During the meeting, Amzazi revealed several figures about the 2019-2020 final high school exams.
This school year, 441,238 candidates will sit for baccalaureate exams, including 64% students from public schools, 8% students from private schools, and 28% free candidates. Male students represent 51%.
“This year has seen a slight change of about 0.4% from the number [of candidates] recorded in the previous year,” Amzazi said, explaining that the numbers of free candidates and candidates from private schools increased by 12.5% and 7%, respectively, while the number of candidates from public schools decreased by 5%.
This year’s baccalaureate exams will see a number of changes, the minister revealed, such as an updated version of the candidate’s guide—a book including guidelines about the exams and examples from previous years.
The Ministry of Education also distributed several documents to candidates, including a copy of the law against cheating and a copy of grading scales in the different subjects, Amzazi added.
The normal session of baccalaureate exams is set to take place between July 3-7, while retake exams will take place on July 22-24.
The minister also talked about the examinations for entry to medical and pharmacy schools, specifying that all candidates across Morocco will take the same examination in the closest center to their home address.
The examinations used to take place in the schools in Rabat, Casablanca, Fez, Marrakech, Agadir, Oujda, and Tangier. However, this year, the Ministry of Education has set up 45 examination centers across the country.
Parents against private schools
Finally, regarding the debate between students’ parents and private schools about the payment of fees during the COVID-19 lockdown, Amzazi said the ministry has attempted to mediate between the parties.
“We have taken an important and fundamental initiative, which is mediation, and we have met with the federation of private education to discuss their problems,” the minister said.
After the suspension of in-person classes in Moroccan schools, several private schools demanded payment for the remaining months of the school year, while many parents refused to pay because they believe remote education cannot replace in-person classes.
“We have ensured that educational establishments provide a service within the framework of pedagogical continuity, and we have asked the provincial directorates to contact the schools and urge them to implement remote education systems,” Amzazi said, revealing that 96% of private schools continued to provide services for the students despite their closure.
However, private schools must also take into account the conditions of families during the lockdown, he continued.
“Our position is to ensure communication between private schools and families in order to reach an agreement,” Amzazi explained, saying that “many establishments have responded favorably to resolve this conflict.”