Berber activist Assid says teaching French in Morocco is a « political hypocrisy, not a crime »

In his interview with electronic Channel, ChoufTV, Moroccan activist, Ahmed Assid said that it is time to put an end to « political hypocrisy » over education issue and decide once for all « what we want for our children » in the future.

Assid’s approach in this regard came as a response to the statement made by Conservative Istiqlal Party Secretary-General, Nizar Baraka, who described teaching scientific subjects in French language at schools an unforgivable crime. For his part, Assid called such statement a clear sign of politicians’ hypocrisy in Morocco, claiming that Baraka and his entire family received a French education all along so that they have easy access to Morocco’s highest and most prominent positions.

Assid also stated that Arabic can not serve as a language for scientific research in today’s world, noting that of all scientific studies and researches, only 3 or 4 are translated into Arabic every year.

Istiqlal Party has been calling for the arabization of Morocco’s educational curriculum ever since our independence, however, none of the said party’s members pursued their studies in Arabic, Assid stressed.

It is time to point out the real reasons behind our failure in education rather than blame it on languages, Assid noted, adding that switching into a pure French curriculum is now unachievable even if we want to, because Morocco can’t provide proficient French teachers or professors as they fail victims to arabization themselves as this kept going for generations.

On the light of his statement to ChoufTV, Assid raised a series of questions such as: Why trying to fix the problem now? Why did the arabization curriculum fail as a teaching model? Why did arabization include primary, secondary and high schools, but never higher education?

It is true that Arabic is not the main language for scientific research, for most papers in this regard are rather written in English, German or French; yet, we can not adopt any of these languages for our higher education since Moroccan students are exposed to Arabic language only before they make it to faculties and institutes, Assid said.

New-born English words find their equivalents in French for instance within months, while the Arabic version of these words takes years to be approved, he added.
Governments and political parties come and go, however, the result is always the same, Assid revealed, pointing that the language used in scientific studies and research doesn’t have anything to do with identity, for teaching a given subject in a foreign language while being an Arab or an Amazigh is totally normal, especially if this foreign language brings us forward and only forward.

On the other hand, Assid stated that extremist Islamic education teachers do not respect the newly edited version of school books, as they tend to deliver their proper vision and messages to students orally in classes.

Extremists, through their backward teaching methodology, aim at raising an anti-governmental group, just because they have failed when they made the government a few years ago, Assid noted.

At the end of his interview, Ahmed Assid stated that Nizar Baraka chairs one of Morocco’s oldest and most reputed parties, however, his political performance as an Istiqlal Party leader is far from being impressive.

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