Posted by: alcrabat | 19 June 2010

Quality Education in the Case Study of Morocco

By: Naoual Bekkioui, Advanced 3

Introduction

In the past few decades, a lot of efforts have been done to improve the education system in Morocco. We can cite particularly, the creation of the Special Committee on Education and Training (COSEF), the reform projects initiated respectively in 1975, 1985, 1995 and the National Charter projects initiated in 1978, 1988 and 1999 [1]. These efforts have helped to increase school enrollment and the budget allocation for education, yet the Moroccan education system is still inadequate when held to modern society requirements such as new technologies business and job market needs. Furthermore, Morocco remains below other countries at similar levels of economic development, as shown by a new World Bank report titled “The Road Not Traveled – Education Reform in MENA”[2]. This report puts Morocco in 11th place among 14 countries in the MENA region (Tunisia and Algeria classed at 3rd and 8th).  This ranking explains how past reforms have failed to provide a good education system for the population since the level of illiteracy among adults is still high and the education facilities are poor.

The failure of the Moroccan education system is attributable to a number of factors.  As most developing countries, these factors include widespread poverty, low government spending on research and education, lack of good infrastructure, and cultural and language barriers that alienate some children and prevent them from attending school. In addition to these well-known reasons, the quality of the school program is another important factor which causes the failure of the Moroccan education system but has not yet been discussed and treated in great detail before. The present work aims at studying the quality of education in the case of Morocco to show how the quality of education contributes to the incompetence of the education system.

Quality Education

To study the quality of education in Morocco, we need to analyse the weaknesses of the school program offered by the ministry responsible. There are actually many reasons why the school program is incompetent and inadequate, but I will discuss only three reasons, all of which directly affect identity and individualism. First, the education system doesn’t care about students’ intellectual level since students aren’t asked to use their intelligence to determine the meaning of what they study, nor to give their own arguments. Briefly, critical thinking is not encouraged by the public school program and students do not have time to consider, in a thoughtful way, the subjects and problems given by the program. Thinking is, however, a distinguishing characteristic of the common human nature concept. It is the proof of existence as the French philosopher Descartes said: “I think, therefore I am.” From book to book, from novel to novel, from movie to movie, from painting to painting, we should think to find an answer to a question, a solution of a problem or maybe come up with new questions and problems. We should stop at each idea and understand its meaning to form our own ideas and then build our own personalities from that process. We must do this because it is in our human nature to do so. But, when the education system doesn’t ask us to think, any activity related to reflection is considered a big loss of time with bad results.  At the same time, the best possible results are required by the same education system. So, naive are those who believe that they will obtain good results in the Moroccan schools thanks to their intellectual level, because the system doesn’t care about the intellectual level as only the final results are important. Thus, the less you read novels, the higher your chance of getting good marks are.

Second, the students are overloaded with work compared to the generations trained during the occupation period and after the independence until the 1970’s. Many Moroccans from the generations before have powerful and important jobs with very little qualifications, and many from the new generation are making grave mistakes in their jobs because they are incompetent. Again we are confronted with the critical thinking problem. Actually, all Moroccans cannot critically think because they are not taught to and are not rewarded when they do, so that means while the old generation was not overloaded, they are still not the best equipped for the job.  However, the younger generations are not equipped and also incompetent because they are too overloaded. As a result, the work force in Morocco is conducted with an incredible mediocrity that affects the progress aimed and the development expected. To overcome this problem, the government has often used foreigners to fulfil important positions.

Another serious error made by the education system is that students have to just “swallow” the course and to “vomit” it all exam day. So a good memory is required to remember the very long and poorly taught program. This forces many students to make a premature end to their studies as it has been shown by Mr. Ahmed Khchichen, the current Minister of National Education, Higher Education, Training Managers and Scientific Research: “Nearly 400,000 students left school during the school year 2005-2006 and over 240,000 students from middle and high schools left school during the same year.” [3] Other alarming statistics were given by the French channel (France5) in a documentary titled “The Moroccan Education System”.  This documentary showed that 45% of Moroccan students leave college without any diploma and 90% of bachelors make an average of nine years to graduate. [4]

Finally, students are asked to focus their interest only on the school program, as the education system prohibits them to be interested in programs outside the school. Interests outside the program are taught as unnecessary because only the final result is important, and the more your result approaches 20/20 the better it is. Although, this result is supposed to show the level of each student and determine his/her ability to be admitted to important schools. Furthermore, to get a good job, the same system asks you to master as many languages as possible, to have versatile intellectual abilities, a fine analytical mind, a rich social experience, as well as others, and this is a real problem!

Conclusion

Improving the quality of the school program is an urgent need for the Moroccan education system. It requires a real movement that must sensitize governments as well as the civil community. Everyone should be aware and conscious of the problem. Parents have to work with community groups and schools to provide quality education by proposing a new program school that would enable children to be competitive, but also a program adaptable to the job market needs and flexible to social and cultural obstacles. We should not stop with the introduction of new reforms, nor only concentrate on the issue of the national charter projects. Accordingly, the Moroccan education system needs to be reviewed and must take into account the skills and processes that are more important than the results. Because results rarely show the real level of each student, they are sometimes overestimated and sometimes underestimated. The perfect education system would encourage freedom and creation. It would be adaptable to each individual and promote diversity and individualism. In this regard, government and citizens should work together to educate people in the best way for a better, freer and more democratic Morocco.

Refernces

1: Internal report. Ministry of National Education, Higher Education, Training Managers and Scientific Research

2:http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/COUNTRIES/MENAEXT/0,,contentMDK:21617643~pagePK:146736~piPK:226340~theSitePK:256299,00.html

3: Grotti. L, 2008. Comment construire l’école de la modernité. Workshop de la compétitivité. La revue ECONOMIA n°3 / juin – septembre

4: France 5, 2004. Moroccan education system, documentary. http://documentaires.france5.fr/

Abbreviations

COSEF: Commission Spéciale de l’Education et de la Formation

MENA: Meddle East and North Africa region


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Responses

  1. What precisely seriously stimulated you to publish “Quality Education
    in the Case Study of Morocco | American Language Center, Rabat
    – Student Voices”? I reallyabsolutely loved it!
    Thanks for your effort ,Jennifer


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