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A School or a Ghoul?!

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Who caused school to turn into a scaring ghoul? Who robbed school from pleasure and made it so ghoulish with little fragrance or real life? Most of those in charge of it have retired much earlier than the age of retirement! Everyone is watching the tragedy from afar, letting the flood ravage everything. Is what came to pass random or deliberate? A long-tailed question mark should be at the end of the former sentence.

The generality of Moroccan schools are depressing and demotivating. Walls are so sullied with chalk and permanent markers that you feel totally bored. Wherever you direct your eyes, you are shocked with insults and vulgar words that I dare not divulge right here.
Miserably enough, the mess has become the norm. Broken light bulbs are a usual frustrating sight. Roofs are rife with « Kala », a type of drug; they roll tobacco into thin paper and stick it directly under the gum. No sooner they have finished than they stick the roll onto the ceiling leaving a disgusting sight.
Pieces of paper are everywhere. Desks are all holes and teacher desks so dirty. Yogurt and plastic bottles lie usually behind doors. Most classrooms have no plugs and their doors no keys. On top of that, very unhopefully though, a student might pass water behind the classroom door in the absence of the administration staff, leaving a fetid odour. Administrators may succeed in spotting a truant, an uncaring teacher not a student, yet they can never know which student passed water or tore away either flaps of the blackboard or perforated a desk or rather screamed in the hall causing much nuisance to all classrooms nearby!

Caretakers are no more appointed and charwomen are no longer paid. Thus, nobody is there to clean the filth that accumulates day in, day out. Walls teem with caricatures, quotations, equations, whole paragraphs used for cheating, vulgar words, drawings and grotesque scribbles transferred to you as such:  » Derb cibo3bid/ younes predateur/ 3ammo abdo zaze/Habib bmooooot fiiiiik » and the like.
You may every so often engage in voluntary campaigns along with students and clean the immediate environment, yet what role should the ministry of education play? No budget is available for education and profuse grants are devoted to so many unimportant things that you all well know!

You bring with you your laptop, speakers, V.G.A cable and extension. A colleague may poke fun at you because you are carrying a heavy satchel.  So lucky you are to get a data show if you want to chase boredom with the broom of innovation and the lure of ICT and bring life into the classroom!  Nevertheless, remember the school is equipped with cameras! There it is written on a big colourful sign testifying a miserable contradiction.
The inward void of school is glossed over through superficial make-up and spurious smiles. It is indeed a parable of a have-not wearing a precious finger-ring and borrowing a high-flash convertible car or rather a shantytown brimful of huge satellite dishes. Likewise, it’s a parable of a packet of cigarettes on which are written contradictions: it’s rich and its colours are alluring, yet on its side you read 12 mg of tar, 1 mg of nicotine and 12 mg of carbon!
Should we state with no single doubt to everybody sound of mind that education in Morocco had already passed away. Truancy is at its peak in many high schools; only ten or eight of thirty students attend their lessons the whole year.  While a third are attending classes, two thirds are out doing what they guess best. Skipping classes is hardly unnoticeable. Two or three of the former third will get their baccalaureate and one will probably get a job. It is a phenomenon worth pondering on, isn’t it?
While the boys come in with queer hair-styles, girls are all too welcome with no smocks, too much make-up and funny torn jeans. Besides, chewing gum and playing with cell phones haven’t become abnormal.

The state of affairs being so, how dare we boast of quality learning, the National Charter, the Emergency Programme and the Strategic View 2015-2030?! It is not a pessimism-driven article, I am afraid. It is simply a true account of things as they really are.

 
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9 Comments

  1. Abdelkarim Essbai
    29/04/2017 at 20:23

    In fact dear colleague education in Morocco had already passed away! I feel the same thing while getting into my school in Oujda.However i tried to make a little change by painting the walls and door of the English classroom in Almassira highschool. Students felt engaged and enthousiastic.It was a two days fun but very symbolic.Now they feel more relaxed in the English class. Making the change we also are responsible of.

  2. Rachid
    30/04/2017 at 20:19

    Dear Abdelkarim,
    It seems that nobody shares the classroom with you and it is closed once you finish. It’s a good initiative, yet until when we do everything by ourselves: painting and the like.
    Thanks for your comment.

  3. Rachid Bettache
    03/05/2017 at 00:26

    Indeed dear friend,what you are talking about is too real to be ignored and the solution is seemingly far from being available. Some times,and while speaking to the students,at least most of them,I have that feeling of being from another planet :their mentality;their morals,nothing seems to be like what we are accustomed to.thus,a question is to be asked :what future could they be aspiring to?I admit having no idea!

  4. Dounia
    06/05/2017 at 04:20

    Indeed bro, it’s a fact which we see every day in our schools however we should not give up we need to keep hope and try to change the current situation for the coming generations.
    All the best and keep going

  5. Abderrazak ES-SOBTI
    06/05/2017 at 22:06

    Your article is a real picture of what has become today common pratice in our schools both in terms of the physical aspect of our classrooms and in terms of the new values the students have adopted . Although the picture looks a bit gloomy, a lot of quality learning, espacially in English, is taking place thanks to the great efforts many teachers invest in daily classroom practice.

  6. Samir
    15/05/2017 at 13:57

    Dear Rachid,
    Thank you for such an interesting article. You’ve spoken the bitterness and regret that every one belonging to the teaching community got mad talking about in vain. I personally share every single word and idea mentioned in your article depicting the deplorable conditions of our schools.
    I can’t agree more! Do we really need research, surveys and reports from institutions such as the high council for education to tell us what we already know and suffer from? As long as there are no signs of real political will on the part of stakeholders manifested in the here and now classroom/school settings, don’t expect any change in Luqman’s house! وتبقى دار لقمان على حالها..
    Regards

  7. Rachid
    17/05/2017 at 07:39

    I am so thankful for all your comments, and remember comments are sometimes more important than the article itself, for they are so enriching, beautifying and at times even corrective. May our schools get better.

  8. Rachid
    11/06/2017 at 06:13

    I wish all school days were bac exam days! Classrooms are cleaned, walls are painted and new desks are available, unusual punctuality and surveillance…
    Why such a great change only three days in a year?!

  9. Aziz mouzouni
    09/08/2017 at 16:34

    Indeed dear Rachid, there are plenty of issues to address in Moroccan schools and the Moroccan educational system in general. A real political will is required to step up and improve educational standards; otherwise the picture is very gloomy.

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