Recently, there have been many questions and concerns about the educational system, and the quality of public schools in Morocco. Moroccan public schools suffer from many problems including overcrowded classrooms with no equipment, in addition to a huge shortfall in teachers. Official reports declared that by the end of the school season 2015/2016, more than 14,000 teachers will have retired nationwide, making the need for extra trained teachers even more urgent. No one can deny that problems of public schools in Morocco are mainly caused by the absence of good strategy, and sufficient funding. Martin Luther King once said: “If we can find the money to put a man on the moon, then we can find the money to put a man on his own two feet”. Frankly, it is the same case with Morocco. If we can find money for international festivals like Mawazine, then we can find the money to build proper schools, which will guarantee an equal access to schooling for all Moroccans, whether in urban or rural areas.
Traditionally, the Regional Centers for Education and Training Careers have been the destination for any graduate student with the desire to pursue a career in teaching. In the past years, going through a pre-selection process of applications, a written and an oral exam, and one year of practicums all is required to grant teacher trainees the certificate to engage in the public service professionally under the supervision of the ministry of education. However, at the start of 2015/2016 school year, the Moroccan government stated two decrees; 2.15.589 and 2.15.588 under suspicious circumstances. The first decree deprives teacher trainees from their right to engage in the public service after the training, and the second reduces their monthly scholarship to over 50%. The government and the minister of education argue that the two suspicious decrees aim to improve the quality of public schools. In fact, a person with half a brain knows that improving public schools is achieved by employing more trained teachers, raising their salaries, and building more schools with decent equipment.
This year, 10000 teacher trainees with bachelors, masters and Ph.Ds. are being trained in the Regional Centers for Education and Training Careers all over Morocco. After deservedly passing through 3 phases of examination including, preselection, written and oral exams, the 10000 teacher trainees are required under the new two decrees to take another exam after the end of their training. Therefore, more than 3000 teachers will be unemployed, knowing that even employing all the 10000 will not close the shortfall from which the public schools suffer. The two decrees and huge shortfall and lack of teachers will only make classrooms even more overcrowded; making teachers’ job an eligible story for Mission Impossible 6.
The two suspicious decrees besides the existing problems in public schools made teacher trainees freeze their theoretical and practical training, and go on an open protest for more than 2 months, hopping the government will remove the two decrees and look into the problems in the educational system, which seems like the most rational solution. Yet, the government decides to ignore their demands, and as a result, teacher trainees went on national, regional, and local marches and demonstrations practicing their constitutional rights. During their regional and local rallies and demonstrations on December 30th, 2015 and January 7th, 2016, teacher trainees all over Morocco have been savagely violated by the police leaving hundreds with dangerous wounds and broken bones.
On January 7th, 2016 or the ‘Black Thursday’, teacher trainees have been violated in Marrakech, Inezgane, Casablanca, Tangiers, and Fez. According to the National Commission of Teacher Trainees in Inezgane, approximately 100 teacher trainees have been transported to hospital Hassan II in Agadir after the police forces stormed the center and started assaulting them severely. According to the same source, the police attacked one of the teacher trainees in Inzgan, and broke his spine in two different places. Female teacher trainees have also been violated, making the public wonder about the role of organization and associations that defend human rights generally and the women’s right specifically.