Education, Health Ministries to Meet Medical Students’ Unions amid ‘Blank’ Year Threats

Medical Students protesting in Rabat at the Parliament building

Rabat – Representatives of medical, pharmacy and dentistry students, who have been staging protests over conditions in several Moroccan cities for the eighth consecutive week since March 25, will meet with deans, and the Ministries of Health and Higher Education.

In response to students’ calls for a meeting, the Ministry of Education along with a number of deans held a meeting in Rabat last week, May 11, with medical students’ representatives. Both parties agreed to convene another meeting on Tuesday, May 14.

During the last meeting, the parties discussed the urgency of taking steps to ensure the smooth progress of studies, to make up for the  time lost by strikes, to make sure exams are taken in the most appropriate conditions, and most importantly to stave off a “blank” year which would have dire consequences for these students.

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The  medical students have been protesting a range of important issues including the privatization of medical education and services, the need for enhancing the training conditions for medical students to “live up to the expectations of Moroccan citizens,” and the need for necessary medical equipment in training spaces.

The coordinator of medical and pharmacy students, Ayoub Aboubaigi, said in a joint statement made by the ministries of education and health issues on April 17, that

despite the opening of this round of talks, medical students are still adamant that they will not return to their studies.  The government is still firmly maintaining its position, reiterating that what it laid down in the April 17 joint statement is “clear” and “responds” to medical students’ demands.

Today’s meeting will decide whether the medical students’ file will be resolved and closed or may trigger further waves of protests that would disrupt not only medical education, but the health sector in general, considering the scores of public sector doctors, amounting to over 1,000, who have already resigned en masse.