Moroccan Education Impacted by COVID-19
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been significant development in the educational field in Morocco. Recently, education unions have been successful in stopping government support towards private schools during this global crisis. Upon doing so, the process was able to move forward even more and through strong alliances with members of the national parliament, these new policies are being implemented with prosecution for those who have fraudulently taken advantage of the crisis in ways that can cause harm. The Labour Minister also declared that private schools that had laid off teachers or relegated them to technical unemployment and requested financial support while parents were still paying tuition fees would be prosecuted.
This significant success in the fight against the privatization and commercialization of education, and in support of public education, was led by Education International (EI), education unions, and global education advocates. EI and education unions played a large role in ensuring that private schools contributed funds towards the newly established COVID-19 Crisis Fund, parliamentary action to ensure no profiteering, and increased public and policymaker support to invest in free quality public education.
COVID-19 continues to exacerbate inequalities in nations all over the world, amongst diverse societies and cultures. What has Morocco shown and proven? Morocco has illustrated that it is possible for teachers’ unions, advocates and policymakers to together accomplish policy changes to invest public funds in free, quality, inclusive education for all.
As education advocates, there are several things we must do to ensure that education is equitable and inclusive for all. First, during a crisis that is ravaging countries and communities, we must be more conscious of others and speak out swiftly and loudly to ensure the right to quality, inclusive education for all. Second, we must also emphasize the need for funding, especially for public schools. Plentiful funding will ensure that schools are better equipped and can reopen safely once this pandemic ends. Third, it is imperative that we are aware of the threats of privatization and commercialization of schools, and each advocate for public education systems that include all learners.
Writing from my perspective as a college student, I wonder about the students and families that were attending private schools in Morocco. As the Education International update estimates:
“Education unions in Morocco informed Education International (EI) that...private schools were forcing parents to pay tuition fees even though the schools were closed. Indeed, a significant number of private schools have not been providing any online education, support or follow-up to students, in comparison to schools in the public sector. EI’s Moroccan affiliates expect that this crisis will force many private schools to close. Meanwhile, they are determined to continue their fight against the privatization and commercialization in and of education in the country.”
Please join in and share your ideas in the comments below:
- How can we make sure that students, teachers and families in private as well as public schools, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, have continued, inclusive access to education?
- When private schools may be closing, what can we as advocates do to ensure that students do not get caught in the cross-hairs without education?
- What can we learn from this example that can be applied in support of the human right to quality, inclusive, universal education for all in other contexts?
Courtesy of Amira El Masaiti, Morocco World News