The confusing road map

The reform of the national education system seems like an endless project. Each minister of supervision wants to build it to his own taste by shaving what his predecessor did.

Chakib Benmoussa is no exception. He has just come up with his own vision of reform that wipes the slate clean from previous reform plans. This is a new roadmap that aims to achieve three main goals: to make education compulsory, to ensure the quality of primary education and to promote openness, satisfaction and citizenship.

With these three objectives, the Ministry aims to reduce by a third the drop-out rate, which currently causes the departure of 33,000 pupils per year, and to increase the number of children who pass their studies to 2/3, ie the percentage of pupils who are currently experiencing difficulties in their studies. . It also aims to increase the number of students who benefit from parallel activities to half by exceeding the current number estimated at a quarter.

This roadmap, which was submitted to the Economic, Social and Environmental Council on Wednesday, revolves around three axes: the pupil, the teacher and the school. With regard to the axis related to the student, the ministry emphasizes an education capable of training students “with an open mind and mastery of basic learning.

As for the teacher component, the ministry aims to make teachers “open, fully committed to student success, educated and valued”. As for the axis related to the school setting, the goal remains to make these institutions “modern and provide a safe environment conducive to student development”.

For teacher Jamal Akchbab, the education sector has always been a field of experimentation with new pedagogical programs, plans and others. “In the beginning there was the National Charter for Education and Training (1999/2008). The drafting of this charter was based on a broad consultation of all sections of society (parliament, political parties, trade unions, etc.) and the allocation of significant funds. However, it has not achieved the expected objectives,” he reminds us.

And to continue: “Then there was the implementation of the emergency program (2009/2012) which also did not yield convincing results, despite the guarantees given and the huge budget spent on this system. This program was canceled at the stroke of a pen by the former Minister of National Education, Mohamed Louafa, who officially declared the failure of this program. The latter would be replaced by the Strategic Vision 2015/2030 whose future is today uncertain with the roadmap of the current Minister of Education who plans to reset the counters”.

Our interlocutor is of the opinion that the new roadmap does not offer anything innovative, as the components have already been tested. Worse still, he wonders about the point of starting consultations on the new model of the national school, precisely in this period of exam preparation, and wonders why such a debate should as the issue of diagnosis and discussion of the model introduced has been debated a thousand times and tons and tons of reports, studies and books have been produced.

“Why are we trying to further diagnose our national school and propose new recipes when there is the Fifty Years Anniversary Report, that of the Higher Council for Education, Training and Scientific Research (CSEFRS) and the Court of Auditors?” he wondered. .

Jamal Akchbab is categorical. According to him, no reform will have a chance to succeed in the current conditions of our system without fundamental conditions, education programs with crowded classrooms, the state of the educational infrastructure, etc. For him there is no course or clear vision and all reforms are characterized by too much improvisation and anarchy.

“Take the case of the Regional Academies of Education and Vocational Training, designed as public institutions with territorial powers equivalent to those of the regions and adapting to the new territorial division. Today, these institutions turn out to be empty shells, as the decision still comes from the center and without taking into account the specificities of the regions. Such is the case today with the decision to postpone the date of the exams to July, when certain areas such as the south will experience high temperatures around 50°. Today, in Zagora, the teachers are teaching classes where the temperature has already reached 45°,” he underlined.

According to him, many teachers today want to abandon ship. They are tired of taking responsibility for the failure of the education system and waiting for reforms that never come. “All the more so because their vision of reform was never taken into account. Many of them are waiting for 30 years of service to retire early,” he told us. And finally: “The reform of the education system should not be the only business of the heads of departments of the central administration in Rabat. It is a matter for everyone (families, political parties, trade unions, civil society, press, etc.). Our country has no shortage of intellectuals, pedagogues, experts in psychology and education and who also have their say.”

Hassan Bentaleb

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