The ministry announced that the school year will begin in early September and parents have to choose whether they want their children to study from home or in class.
Rabat – The Moroccan Federation for Consumer Rights (FMDC) has called for postponing the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year to preserve the health of students across Morocco.
In a press release issued on Monday as reported by 2M, the NGO denounced the Ministry of Education’s decision to begin Morocco’s 2020-2021 school year in early September with both remote and in-person learning options.
The FMDC expressed its “surprise” at the ministry’s August 22 statement. The document announced that students’ parents will have the right to choose whether they prefer remote learning or face-to-face classes.
The announcement, giving parents the responsibility to make a major decision relating to their children’s education and safety, sparked controversy among Moroccans.
The starting date of the 2020-2021 school year, set for September 7, also alarmed citizens, as Morocco is still recording over 1,000 new COVID-19 cases everyday.
“Entering schools at the scheduled time represents a great health risk for teachers, students, and their families,” the FMDC wrote.
According to the federation, assigning the attendance decision to parents shows that the ministry is attempting to “evade responsibility for [potential] incalculable consequences.”
‘Ineffectiveness’ of remote education
Remote learning has proven that “its educational effectiveness is weak,” the NGO said, recalling that the adoption of remote education between March and June 2020 did not achieve its expected results.
The ministry’s decision also harms the principle of equal opportunities, the FMDC stressed, explaining that it only serves private school owners.
Moreover, the FMDC said the decision does not take into consideration students enrolled in private schools and does not preserve their parents’ economic rights.
According to the federation, private schools continue to impose significant education fees despite the adoption of remote learning.
Based on the observations, the FMDC urged the ministry to postpone the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year for a month or two, depending on Morocco’s epidemiological situation.
The NGO also called for “real measures to preserve the necessary balance between parents and private schools, adopting the principle of service for performance,” to protect families from paying hefty fees while their children are receiving sub-par education.
Finally, the federation highlighted the need for a public school reform to preserve equal opportunities for students who cannot afford studying in private schools.