Minister of Education Chakib Benmoussa is still under intense scrutiny from both majority and opposition parliamentarians for his handling of the ongoing crisis surrounding the Fundamental System in the education sector.
Parliamentarians, during the budgetary discussion for the National Education sector in 2024, directed pointed criticism at the Minister, urging him to engage directly with teaching staff without intermediary unions and to halt the deductions from their salaries.
The criticism followed the ministry’s decision to implement deductions from the salaries of striking teachers protesting against the new system.
The Ministry activated its threats against striking educators by sending a letter to the Director of Employee Expenses at the General Treasury of the Kingdom.
The letter, signed by the Secretary-General of the Ministry of National Education, Younes Shimi, outlined the deduction of 22,000 allowances for Ministry employees absent from work without authorization.
Despite calls for dialogue, Benmoussa’s ministry insisted on proceeding with salary deductions.
In the same vein, parliamentarians highlighted a series of imbalances and issues plaguing the education system. They pointed out overcrowded classrooms in both primary and secondary education, as well as the aggregation of multiple levels under one teacher.
The parliamentarians also criticized the exacerbation of teacher shortages due to retirements. They pointed to issues such as dropping out, a lack of educational personnel, and deteriorating infrastructure.
Concerns also included shortages in staff and classrooms in educational institutions in major cities.
Further concerns raised by the parliamentarians included the lack of water supply connections for several primary and secondary schools, particularly in rural areas.
Some schools were noted to lack fences and security, making them susceptible to illicit activities.
Issues in rural education extended to human resources, building conditions, the absence of amenities, transportation challenges, and a reluctance among girls to pursue their studies.
Public school employees were reported to face unfavorable working conditions, exacerbated by overcrowded classrooms and the difficulties associated with rural areas such as distance, isolation, and limited transportation.
Parliamentarians urged finding effective solutions for schools located at distances that make walking to them within a reasonable timeframe impossible.