Minister responds

Moroccan king blasts education policy

GMT 19:49 2013 Saturday ,24 August

Arab Today, arab today Moroccan king blasts education policy

Morocco’s Minister of Education Mohammed al Wafa
Rabat – Radwan Mabshour

Morocco’s Minister of Education Mohammed al Wafa Rabat – Radwan Mabshour Morocco’s Minister of Education Mohammed al Wafa has responded to sharp criticism from the Moroccan king by mobilising the various bodies of the ministry in the 16 districts of the country, while politicians and public figures blamed the king himself for failures in the education system. King ‎Mohammed VI condemned the state of education in Morocco during a speech on Wednesday marking the 60th anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the People, saying it was “worse now than it was twenty years ago”. “The education sector is facing many difficulties and problems. They are mostly due to the adoption of some syllabi and curricula that do not tally with the requirements of the job market,” the king added. In a press statement on Saturday, the Education Minister reponded:  “The last royal speech included a number of observations that will be taken into ‎consideration, especially as it pointed out issues that should be included in the reform of the educational ‎system.”‎ The Moroccan monarch also criticised the current government for not building on the education policies of its predecessors. “The current government should have capitalised on the positive experience gained in the field of education and training, especially as this is a crucial project that will span several decades,” he said. “It hardly makes sense for each government to come with a new plan every five years, and disregard previous programmes, particularly as no government will ever have the time, during a single mandate, to fully implement its project. “The education sector should, therefore, not be included in the sphere of purely political matters, nor should its management be subjected to outbidding tactics or party politics. Rather, it should be part of a cultural, economic and social approach aimed at training and preparing human resources who can be incorporated into a dynamic development process, through an efficient education system,” he added. But critics attacked the royal speech and blamed the monarchy for the failure Morocco’s education system. Speaking on behalf of the ruling Justice and Development Party, Abdel Aziz Aftati told Akhbar al-Yawm: “If there is failure in that field, then it is the failure of the royal ‎programmes put in place since 1999, which were applied by consecutive governments. We are ready to ‎take responsibility for our part of the failure, which is about one year out of fourteen.”‎ Similarly, media professional and writer Fatma al-Afriqi wrote on her Facebook page: “If we were in a parliamentary kingdom where the elected ‎government alone had the power of deciding, implementing, ordering and revoking then I would have ‎been convinced of what I heard today about the failure of the educational system and the real ‎people responsible. “But the people’s memory is very strong, and people know who decided years ago, who ruined things, who did it deliberately and who improvised it, and who made the children of the poor ignorant, who made them guinea pigs and who educates his children in the best ‎schools.”‎

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