Rabat – Minister of Education Saaid Amzazi has elaborated on Morocco’s decision to adopt a remote education system for the upcoming academic year due to the spread of COVID-19.
During a televised interview with Al Oula on Sunday, Amzazi spoke of three possibilities for the 2020-2021 academic year.
“The new educational formulas approved for the 2020-2021 academic year are very flexible and can be adapted according to the development of the epidemiological situation,” the minister said.
Amzazi emphasized that Morocco will go back to in-person education when the COVID-19 situation significantly improves.
If the situation slightly improves, the Moroccan government will adopt both in-person and remote education systems, taking into account preventive measures against the spread of the virus.
If the COVID-19 situation in Morocco deteriorates, the country’s schools will continue with remote education to ensure the safety of students and teachers.
The epidemiological situation has been worsening for weeks. Morocco has consistently recorded over 1,000 cases per day.
Morocco’s current COVID-19 case count is 53,349, including 888 deaths and 36,343 recoveries. The number of active cases is 15,118 as of August 23.
The right to choose
The education minister reiterated that parents have the right to choose which education system will work better for their children.
The ministry will provide a form for parents where they can select whether they want their children to study from home or attend in-person lessons.
He vowed that the Ministry of Education will work to ensure safety measures to protect educators and pupils, emphasizing the role of parents to raise awareness of the danger of the virus if they choose in-pêrson education for their pupils.
A divided public
The ministry announced on Saturday that Morocco will adopt remote education for the upcoming academic year given the COVID-19 situation.
Amzazi said Morocco’s education model for this school year will be based on two mechanisms. The first mechanism concerns distance education for all levels through the broadcasting of courses on television channels and the provision of digital resources via electronic platforms in addition to virtual classes.
The decision divided public opinion across Morocco. While some Moroccans were pleased with the move, others expressed concerns.
Some parents took to social media to say it would have been better if the education ministry postponed the date for returning to school until the COVID-19 situation in Morocco improves.
Working parents, in particular, argue that remote education requires continuous monitoring to succeed.
The ministry, however, believes that remote education was a success in Morocco despite the exclusivity of the approach. Many students in Morocco, particularly in rural areas, do not have the tools needed to access online education.
An uncertain future
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread in Morocco, students, educators, and parents face an uncertain future in terms of education. It remains to be seen if the epidemiological situation will improve enough to allow the resumption of in-person education for the 2020-2021 academic year.
The recent increase in the number of COVID-19 cases has worried Morocco’s government and the King, who have repeatedly called on citizens to respect the preventive measures.
“There are people who claim that this epidemic does not exist. There are those who believe that the lifting of the lockdown means the epidemic is over, while others are behaving in an unacceptably lax and careless way,” King Mohammed VI said in a speech on August 20.
He warned that the country will return to a strict lockdown if the number of cases continues to increase, despite the socio-economic impacts this measure would have on the country.