The ability to teach STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects in French is at the origin of the blocking of the adoption in the parliamentary committee of the framework law on education. A text against which the former head of government Abdelilah Benkirane leads a fierce crusade, and one that has been making Morocco news headlines.
The bill was supposed to pass on Monday, then Tuesday, then Wednesday, and finally the vote was postponed indefinitely. However, the framework law 51-17 on education reform was on the menu of the extraordinary session of Parliament which opened Monday, April 1st. Three meetings in committee could not lead to a convergence of views on the teaching of STEM subjects in French, while the latter is currently in Arabic until the end of high school, then in French in universities.
Benkirane called the PJD to vote against Morocco news
The debate over this issue has lasted since last summer and has often been the source of crises within the majority. However, the party leaders of the government coalition seemed to have resolved the issue, and the PJD general secretariat resigned itself to accept this provision. That was before Abdelilah Benkirane got involved. In his Sunday Facebook video, the former leader of the PJD targeted this bill carried by the Minister of Education, Said Amzazi.
Benkirane has openly called on the elected officials of his party to vote against this reform. A directive followed to the letter during the committee meetings: the elected officials of the PJD asked the postponement of the vote to better examine this law. According to the Moroccan news agency, the new boss of the PJD Saadeddine El Othmani, who met with them, finally gave them extra time, while encouraging them to align with his position.
This framework law, which goes from report to report, still has a long way to go in the legislative circuit. Even if it crosses the threshold of the House of Representatives, it will have to go through a second reading in the House of Councilors.
On a side note, it’s probably a good time that Morocco considers the adoption of English as the prevailing STEM subjects language. This would at least help open more doors to its youth and enable them to grasp more knowledge that is, as a matter of fact, widely available in English, not in French or Arabic.