Baccalaureate exams represent the most important challenge for students, marking their transition to university and shaping their academic and professional orientations.
Several videos shared on social media documented a dozen of students from Taounate, accompanied by their parents, protesting in front of the Regional Academy of Education and Training (AREF) of Fez-Meknes.
The students’ main demand is the recorrection of their exam papers, in accordance with the criteria set out by the Ministry of Education.
According to one student’s testimony, nearly 50 students have suffered “unfair” correction of their exam papers.
“We compared our answers with those released by the Ministry of Education and we found that our grades do not match our answers,” the student said in a video shared over 250 times on Facebook.
“I, for example, deserved a 19 [out of 20] in the maths exam, but I was shocked to find that the teacher who corrected my paper only gave me 14,” she continued.
According to the testimony, all the students who suffered the “unfair” correction are “very hard-working and smart.”
The student explained that it is not the first time she has had to protest against her exam paper correction.
In 2019, the student earned a 12 out of 20 in the Arabic regional exam. However, after recorrection of her paper, following protests in front of AREF, the grade changed to 19.
“This boosted my general grade from 17 out of 20 to 18.5 and increased my chances of getting into good schools in the future,” the student said.
The student’s mother, speaking in the same video, expressed support for her daughter and condemned the correction process of baccalaureate exams.
The protests’ legitimacy
“We are not speaking absurdly. We have documents to prove the unfairness of the correction and to back our claims,” the mother argued.
Following the protests, Moroccan journalist Youssef Belhaissi said that the student whose protests went viral on social media was actually in the wrong.
Citing sources from the Ministry of Education, Belhaissi announced that AREF recorrected her paper and found no correction errors.
In spite of whether the protests were legitimate or not, the students’ calls echo the claims of thousands of students who, every year, denounce the correction process of baccalaureate exams.
While the protests can sometimes be unfounded, it is no secret that correction errors can happen.
During the correction period, teachers can face large piles of exam papers that require correction under tight deadlines. The situation, which many teachers can find stressful, leaves room for correction errors due to fatigue or haste.
To compensate for any errors, the Ministry of Education allows students to apply for recorrection of their paper. However, the process usually takes several weeks and can lead students to miss opportunities to integrate into limited-access higher education institutions.