The deadline could “unfairly” prevent hundreds of Moroccan students from accessing engineering schools.
Rabat – Moroccan students hoping to enroll in Morocco’s most prestigious engineering schools might see their dreams crushed because of the enrollment deadline announced by the Ministry of Education.
According to the ministry, all Moroccan engineering schools will finalize the list of their new students by August 21. After the set date, students can no longer enroll in the schools, even if new spots free up.
The deadline causes an issue for Moroccan students because, for the first time ever, it is not synchronized with the enrollment deadline of French engineering schools—a destination for hundreds of Moroccan students every year.
In France, engineering schools will only finalize their new students’ lists on September 9. The desynchronized calendars are problematic because hundreds of Moroccan students would appear on the final lists of local schools, and then leave to France when French schools finalize their lists.
The post-deadline transfers would leave hundreds of free spots in Moroccan engineering schools. Students, however, will not be able to access the schools because lists will already be finalized.
Access to engineering schools
For admittance to engineering schools, Moroccan students go through two years of intensive training called the Preparatory Classes for ‘Big’ Schools (CPGE). At the end of CPGE, students take a National Common Exam (CNC) as well as a French Exam (CF) for those applying for French engineering schools.
CNC gives access to some of the most prestigious schools in Morocco, including the Mohammed VI International Academy for Civil Aviation (AIAC), the Hassania School of Public Works (EHTP), the Mohammadia School of Engineers (EMI), and the National Higher School for Computer Systems (ENSIAS).
Meanwhile, the French equivalent of CNC gives access to the most renowned schools in France, such as the Ecole Polytechnique of Paris.
Following the exams, organizers issue a ranking of all candidates. Students then choose the schools in which they want to enroll, based on the seats available and their overall ranks in the exams.
While CNC and CF are separate exams and give access to different institutions, Moroccan students have the right to take them both and apply to schools in both Morocco and France.
Morocco’s Ministry of Education used to synchronize its calendar with the French one, allowing students to enroll in schools after learning all their possible opportunities. This year, however, the calendar shifted, leading to anxiety and worry among Moroccan students.
“We, the candidates admitted to the 2020 [CNC], are writing to you to denounce the last decisions taken by the exam’s organizers,” reads an email MWN received from a dozen students.
The message echoes hundreds’ of students calls on social media, with posts reflecting anxiety, anger, and frustration over the decision.
“Do not [let] this enrollment pass by. Defend your rights and send mails to the CNC administration. We will lose many spots,” said one publication on Facebook.
One concerned student told MWN a group of students sent emails to CNC’s organizing committee expressing their frustration.
After several contact attempts, a committee member told them he “understand[s] their concern” but “there is nothing [he] can do.” The organizer directed the frustrated students to another contact. At the time of writing, the contact did not answer the students.
A Facebook post that collected more than 150 likes and comments attempted to express the emotions hundreds of students are feeling.
“We will lose [opportunities]. Many of our parents have suffered so much to get us where we are now. They suffer even more when they see their son or daughter’s future is uncertain and there is nothing they can do about it,” a student wrote.
“It is unfair for spots to remain empty in engineering schools when there are people who need them and sacrificed so much to get such opportunities,” the young Moroccan continued.
Students also launched a petition urging the Ministry of Education to extend the enrollment deadline and synchronize it with France’s. At the time of writing, the petition collected over 1,850 signatures.
While the ministry did not justify the deadline, Moroccan students insist on defending their access to engineering schools.
“We want to defend our rights and we want officials to react quickly,” one told MWN.