Freedom, Dignity, and Social Justice: What Contract Teachers in Morocco Want

Hassan Moudaine, an English teacher in Morocco, recently answered questions about the non-violent teacher strike in his country. When the strikers demonstrate on the streets, they chant “Freedom, Dignity, and Social Justice,” which are universal human rights. The government response is to send in police to disperse the strikers by beating them and knocking them down with water cannon.  The strike has gone on since March 3. The government has not yielded.

Contract teachers are typically young, are hired on short-term contracts, stay at the same low pay grade they attained when hired, and have no pension and health care benefits. Scale 9 is the pay scale that they are on for years They want to advance to at least scale 10 and to have regular upgrades like non-contract teachers who also have pension and health care benefits.

  1. How does being a contract teacher affect your quality of life?

It is really difficult to be a contractual teacher here in Morocco where everyone does not respect you and think you are third degree teacher, we experience this maltreatment from headmasters, principals, senior teachers, students, and society. This situation affects our life psychologically and financially in the sense that we feel stressed every time we come to classes to teach children and young learners which impacts our performance badly. Speaking financially, even though we do our best to enlighten our dear students, we are always afraid of being fired for no reason, the only reason is we are contractual. A lot of contractual teachers cannot be equal to fellow senior teachers, cannot get loans, cannot establish a family, cannot have the right of national movement across the country.

  1. How does being a contractual teacher affect your sense of dignity, worth, and freedom of choice?

The freedom of choice was taken from us the first day the government imposed on these creative, talented teachers contracts of slavery which chained teachers’ ambition and motivation to serve the students who most of them come from low-class or underprivileged families. We contractual teachers are treated terribly from some people in the field of education in Morocco, because our only sin is contractualism which does not guarantee any right possible a teacher can have. Contractual teachers feel inferior when they are in school and the street; they live under pressure all the time because they are worthless in the eyes of government, education secretary, and society. We were left with no choice unemployment or contracts of slavery.

  1. Do you experience yourself as someone who wants to teach and feels alive when teaching?

Teaching was my dream since I was at middle school, because I was inspired by my sport teacher who helped and guided me a lot. I feel so happy when I am going to school, when I am in school I feel alive, I feel I am home; I always belive school is where I belong. Being in the classroom drives me to give all I have; to do the best I can. I only want to teach and inspire children and teenagers. I teach values, principles, and motivation so that they can be confident, creative, passionate, and leaders of the future who will make a difference in the society.

  1. Do you have stories to tell about your experience of teaching?

Contractual teachers sacrifice their money and time for teaching students for example, I created an English club at my high school where I volunteer when I am not working in which I organize reading sessions, creative writing, spelling bee, public speaking, and many other activities because I love being among students to develop their skills. Actually I helped and guided students who wanted to drop out to come back to school, I have also encountered lots of students who were in difficult circumstances to focus on their studies so that they can be good citizens.

  1. What is your experience and the experiences of others regarding the government’s response to your strikes and advocacy?

We teachers who are forced to be contractual belong  to one and only body which is the National Coordination of Teachers who are forced to be contractual, we believe that our strikes and sit ins should be reacted by solving this problem not violence like what happened against us in the peaceful march on 20thFebruary 2019, this is not the way the government should take with teachers who normally should be in classes teaching the leaders of tomorrow. Our strikes, boycott, and sit ins are ongoing until we get what we want. These contractual teachers want only integration in the public service so that they can have professional stability and social security.

  1. What do you think are the reasons for the policies that create contractual teaching?

The government wants to get rid of free education, public school, and public hiring. The government does not want to spend more budget on education, even though it has launched many reforms  which cost millions of  dollars nothing changed the situation is getting worse every year. If the public school is sacked, Moroccans will not find any school for their kids. These families cannot afford to send their kids to any private school, if it is the case these kids will turn into criminals and gangsters so we are the only defenders of these rights, we are  the only hope of the Moroccan people to save free education and public school.

  1. Who benefits from the current policies?

The government has a plan with the world bank to reduce the number of teachers in exchange of more loans. Consequently, they can easily sell the Moroccan school to private lobby in Morocco, this lobby is growing dramatically in the country; they want to make education a commodity. private school owners are the only one who benefits from these wrecking policies, because they take advantage of the situation to attract more families.

  1. Are the teachers who are striking following principles of non-violence?  If so?  What are the principles?

We teachers, under the guidance of our national coordination of teachers who are forced to be contractual, believe in peace, dialogue, communication, and ethics. We use respectful chants to send messages to the governments to solve this problem which is integration in the public service. We always guide teachers to behave themselves when we are in a march. Also we respect the environment and animals during our protests. We don’t harm security forces nor people nor properties.

My Final Thoughts

The striking teachers in Morocco are showing the world how to respond to injustice. They will persist because they believe in dignity, worth, and human freedom not only for themselves, but for students, and for the common welfare. Jane Gilgun

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Not On My Watch–But the Horror is There Anyway

I am undone. National politics in the US and the unrelently cold and ice of Minnesota, USA, have done me in.  My personal life is fine.  In order not to foam at the mouth or the equivalent, I am meditating at least an hour a day. This is not sweet light meditation but allowing myself to visualise national and personal horrors. The daily personification of evil that plays 24/7 on all media has me undone. Without serious, conscious effort, I would be a dysregulated mess.  The personifications of evil activate every loss, hurt, and sadness I have experienced over my lifetime.  So, in my meditation, I also let images of them flow.  I also exercise, eat well, and spend time in activities that I enjoy.

I never could have imagined living in times such as these. I never imagined that the violence i have sought to understand form decades  would flare up into a daily maelstrom.  What I’m trying to say is that the most horrific cases of violence that I have witnessed through soliciting life stories of men in prison have no match to what I am witnessing on the political scene today. The men who are setting national policy and their woman enablers are commitng more acts of evil than the convicted felons I’ve interviewed since 1985. I am struggling to handle this reality that is in my face every day and every minute.

I have interviewed persons who have committed mass murders, murders, attempted murders, rapes with various kinds of physical violence, child sexual abuse, street violence, bestiality. I have images of a man ejaculating on a woman’s face during a rape, a young man strangling his own toddler children, a man raping a young woman after strangling her–all of these stories and all of these images are active.

The politicians are commiting acts of evil against my life, and as a witness to these acts of evil, I am struggling.

It is well-documented that people who witness violence suffer similar effects of those who are the direct targets.

 

 

Posted in ethics, Facing Down Violence, family values, resilience, social action, values, violence, violence prevention, women's issues | Leave a comment

Turtle Tours on Turtle Island

This gallery contains 6 photos.

Originally posted on Sojourning Smith:
In my tour guide role, I had the privelege to share some of my very favourite special places with a Canadian client this weekend. Suzy says she is doing a ‘Turtle Tour’. She saved for…

Gallery | Leave a comment

What Remains

Sojourning Smith

In Ireland, death is highly ritualised. Wherever a person dies, almost invariably ‘the remains’ are brought home. There is the wake with neighbours, friends, and extended family visiting the deceased, who is usually laid out in the best room, all coming to say goodbye, praying the rosary, drinking tea, eating sandwiches. Then the house may go private to family only before ‘the removal.’ The remains are removed from home to the church the night before the funeral and a service is held to welcome the coffin.  There are forms of words and people who may  not have visited the funeral house line up to sympathise with the family, shake hands, say “I am sorry for your loss.” Then the funeral, the commital for burial or cremation. Over three days, the bereaved waver on that liminal place of letting go. Each sympathiser dins the reality home. You have lost a loved…

View original post 148 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Harvard University Mental Age Assessment

Old Enough To Remember

The following was developed as a mental age assessment by the School of
Psychiatry at Harvard University. Take your time and see if you can read each
line aloud without a mistake. The average person over 40 years of age cannot
do it!

1. This is this cat.
2. This is is cat.
3. This is how cat.
4. This is to cat.
5. This is keep cat.
6. This is an cat.
7. This is old cat.
8. This is fart cat.
9. This is busy cat.
10. This is for cat.
11. This is forty cat.
12. This is seconds cat.

Now go back and read the third word in each line from the top down.

I was so proud to get all 12 lines read without a mistake, then I got the punch line. I am amazed it only took 40 seconds and not 40 minutes. Guess…

View original post 26 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Cone back to Leitrim

Magnumlady Blog

Sometimes the powers that be in this country sadden me. This is one of those times. It might not be hard hitting news to the majority of the folks out there but one man has lost his livelihood due to red tape.

View original post 183 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Blog that Facebook Banned…Misogyny gone mad.

A stellar piece of writing on an outrage

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment