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More Moroccan students enroll in French schools
« في: يوم 01-10-2010 , س 02:07:13 am »
Experts warn of identity erasure and brain drain
More Moroccan students enroll in French schools



Since the start of the academic year, thousands of Moroccan students have been enrolling in French schools amid growing concerns over a perceived erosion of the country’s Arab identity.

More than 17,000 students enrolled in Morocco’s 34 French schools, mainly located in big cities like Rabat, Casablanca, Marrakech, and Agadir, according to a report issued by the French embassy in Rabat.

French schools in Morocco are supervised by the "Agence pour l'nseignement français à l'étranger" (Agency of French Education Abroad) and "L’Office scolaire, universitaire, et international " (The Office of International Schools and Universities).

Morocco is one of the countries that house large numbers of French educational institutions in addition to Lebanon and Madagascar. Strong ties to the French education system dates back to the French colonial era


Better education
Well-to-do families prefer that their children go to French schools, which they see as offering good quality education that easily open doors to the job market.

Parents’ perception of France as the country of culture, civilization, and freedom is one of the main reasons for their preference of French schools, said educational expert Mohamed al-Sadouqi.

“The choice of French schools is related to the political and economic aspiration of the Francophone bourgeoisie in Morocco who likes to adopt the French life style,” he told Al Arabiya.

“Parents also believe that education in French schools increases their children’s professional opportunities whether in Morocco or abroad like in France and Canada.”

This, Sadouqi added, is also related to the general perception of Moroccan public schools as offering low-quality education and as the place for poor children only.

“You can even find members of the intellectual elite promoting national education in their political discourse while enrolling their kids in French schools.”

Identity erasure
Despite the advantages of learning at French schools and the fact that they offer more services than their state-sponsored counterparts, Sadouqi argued that Moroccan identity is threatened as students grow up isolated from their national context.

“School shapes the cultural and ideological aspects of the student’s personality. In the case of French schools, students end up with a French, sometimes schizophrenic, identity.”

This identity, Sadouqi explains, means that students will pledge allegiance to France and the values governing their lives will be French.

“France will be the main beneficiary and not Morocco. Graduates of French schools serve French interests whether inside or outside Morocco.”

This brain drain, Sadouqi added, deprives Morocco of highly-qualified youths who are supposed to lead the country’s development.

“This is exactly what the strategies of oversees French educational institutions are about,” he concluded.

(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid)


via : alarabiya.net