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Monthly Archives: September 2012

Moroccan Higher Educational System : Overcrowding & Free Open Access

After the independence of Morocco, the number of people getting a higher education was very small (see table), but in the 90′s this number increased.  After that, higher educational institutions and some faculties limited their access by introducing new requirements to limit overcrowding because of the lack of resources. But faculties of Art, Humanities, Law and Economics had to absorb the remaining number of students to respect and follow the “education for all” policy that the government made.

Source : AuFait

And then from a quantitative crisis we moved to a qualitative crisis in those faculties, due to overcrowding and the lack of material resources. In some universities we have 280 students for 100 places (Lahcen Daouidi). And according to the 2011 report of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (page 15), five higher educational institutions are in a critical situation of overcrowding where they’re exceeding 200 percent of their capacity. This results in a lack of quality of what the students acquire in those institutions and an inadequacy between what the graduate student have learned in those faculties and what the job market requests.

In a recent interview to the quotidian L’Economiste, the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Lahcen Daouidi talked about making the rich pay for the poorBut from a human rights militant view, AMDH Vie-President Abdelhamid Amine says, “The free access to education is something essential.”

So who’s right and who’s wrong? Actually from an idealistic angle, Abdelhamid Amine is right. But let’s be realistic and use some common sense: With its budgetary constraints, the government can’t just finance everyone’s studies AND provide to them at the same time a good education quality.  It is simply impossible with the increasing number of students.

So this why I believe that a student who has the means to pay for access to the university should pay for themselves. On the other hand, students who have limited financial resources must get free access. Universities and higher educational institutions need the financial support to build adequate infrastructures and to provide a supportive environment to the students as well as the teachers, enabling and encouraging them this way to give quality teaching.

The only obstacle that I can see through this reform is when it comes to evaluating who has the means to pay for access. Lahcen Daouidi’s answer was they’ll “deal with the situation in individual cases.”  How much time is going to take? How many resources is it going to take? And also, what’s the criteria to consider someone able to pay for access?

We usually fail our reforms in those small technical details, which makes our work ineffective.  I still think that it is a good idea to allow access to this many students in our higher educational institutes and at the same time giving them a good quality teaching.

What should politicians and educators do? Do you have any suggestions? Any ideas? Let’s all try to think about it!

October 11th : “International Day of the Girl Child”

The UN General Assembly has formally declared October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child.

International Women’s Day have done so much, with its campaigns through the years, to raise awareness about women’s issues. BUT before being a woman, she’s a girl ! And to empower women we must start by empowering girls.

Let’s Celebrate! Work for Girls empowering!

RELIGION & FEMINISM

Can someone be a feminist & a religious at the same time ? Let’s try to answer it using pure logic.

First of all we should distinguish between religion -spiritually speaking- and religion as an institution. The first one is purely individual and does not take direct actions in the collective community life, it’s the last one that concern us.

An institution implies power and a purpose serving the power owners behind each action whatever the front purpose (good or bad) is, which is of course also the case of religious institutions. Also, it is commonly known that all the sacred books have been written & religious institution founded at a time when the power of decision was owned by men while women’s rights were inexistent.

Religious institutions kept the women in a very degraded position over the centuries. For example, in Monotheist Religions, women are the main cause for putting out the whole humanity from heaven. About inheritance in Islam, men gets the double than women. Yes, it was in a time when the men were in charge, but what about now ?

So, this is why you can’t be a feminist defending women’s rights and be a religious among a religious institution. Unless, you’re suffering from schizophrenia.

Religious institutions can be accepted in the feminism world only if they make progress by adapting their values system with the present society model. As for the example of the inheritance in Islam, women now are a pillar in the financial matters in the family.

However, if we talk about religion from the spiritual side that implies respect, a continuous self questioning and improvement for ourselves and everything around us where “there is no need for temples” (Dalai Lama), so yes you can be religious and a feminist at the same time.

But actually, no religion & no one gives someone his rights. We have to work -not to fight- for our rights, and it’s only then that law guarantee it & society respect it.