Is it true that the Moroccan education system bleeds? If so, then what is wrong with it so that we teachers may sustain the damage?
I assume that Moroccan authorities in charge of education could not manipulate the last question anymore because they are consciously aware of what their hands have committed against innocent students. I was appalled by watching some extracts of videos which were uploaded by many amateur journalists on their websites. They picked up some students’ comments after the sessions of the recent national exams. Those random interviews have uncovered and vividly shown the disastrous results of the education system not in terms of grades but in terms of the mindsets of the know-nothing generation who fought for corruption and cheating as its own right.
In the first place politicians should be kept on the sideline so as not to interfere with education because it is none of their business. They should be brave to refrain by themselves. The American schools are a good example in this context due to the fact that their education system have been suffering dearly because of politicians and now the system is falling apart and moving backwards (According to PISA’s results 2015). Therefore, Moroccans should have a new vision towards the schools’ curricula which should be applied as soon as possible.
I am not asking for drastic changes as I believe that the real change takes ages if not generations. However, if the idealistic education system in Singapore illustrates teaching fewer subjects in great depth has proven its efficiency, then why not follow this instructional method? Why not start with changing those student mindsets first? To do so, our schools need to teach critical thinking rather than knowledge.
Education should help students to be able to use their minds to think independently in their everyday life. Sometimes students may need to make good use of their own thinking in order to overcome problems and obstacles that they might encounter in their lives. Hence, the purpose of education should focus to a great extent on teaching thinking because it is of paramount importance rather than teaching knowledge. According to Emily (2011), “critical thinking assessments should use ill-structured problems that require students to go beyond recalling or restating learned information and also require students to manipulate the information in new or novel context.” (P. 44)
By saying this, Emily highlights the importance of teaching thinking which seems to be a crucial key towards life challenges whereas knowledge seems to be a limited source that offers authentic and real solutions. For instance, students who were taught how to use thinking during their studies seem to be more likely to succeed in their life problematic situation after graduation. They might find applying their thinking skills help them to run a less-challenging life.
It is also worth mentioning that teaching knowledge may help students with theoretical input and cultivate them on different subjects. However, knowledge as a set of information may not provide students with possible solutions to their everyday problems. Instead, its goals seem to be limited within the school curricula. indeed, students should be taught how to think because thinking skills might be helpful for them in their life experiences while teaching them knowledge only may minimize their chances to overcome life’s challenges.
Recently I have taken part in a 30-hour culture course at the University of Lodz in Poland designed for international and Erasmus students. More than 9 nationalities were attending the workshops regularly. What I have learned from the terrific young instructor, who was always positive and innovative, is how to use critical thinking when it comes culture. Throughout the workshops many presumable situations were discussed from different perspectives, and I figured out that what is right for me is not necessarily right for others and vice versa.
Not until then have I realized the crucial importance of teaching students how to think. It is true that thanks to those workshops I managed to adapt, tolerate and co-exist with the international circumstances. By the same token our students should be prepared for the life challenges to overcome theoretical knowledge that vanishes after exams.
Emily, R. L. 2011: “Critical Thinking: A Literature Review”. Pearson