University

Strikes and threats of boycotts promise a scorching faculty yr

VSannounced: The Moroccan higher education union (SMASup, close to PJD, editor’s note) has called a week-long strike from September 19 to 25.Boycotting the 2022-2023 academic year”. In a press conference this Tuesday, September 20, to mark the start of the academic year, the Minister of Higher Education, Abdellatif Miraoui, however, confirmed that the universities had not reported any boycotts.

Was there a boycott? According to the union, 85% of its members responded positively to the strike call, a figure questioned by the responsible minister: “no Moroccan university has reported this level of problem”he said as it is. Perhaps because SMASup teachers are a minority among the entire teaching body of Moroccan public universities.

The teaching staff is actually divided between two independent trade unions (not included in the central union), the most representative of which is the National Union of Higher Education (SNESup), which did not support the request of its colleague. From SMASup to the boycott. As a result, most universities have resumed normal operations, while some, with more SMASup members, have recorded more absenteeism among their teachers.

What do teachers ask? The requirements of the two organizations are the same, but they are not given the same importance. Hence the wage increase for SMASup”It has been frozen for almost 25 years.” is at the top of the list. But SNESup is prioritizing the revision of the basic statute of higher education, the last change of which was almost two decades ago. On the other hand, the two trade unions are unanimous in the need to improve working conditions at the Moroccan public university.

What was said about it: condemning “procrastination of the ministry”Nureddin El Mtili, regional head of SMASup in Tangier-Tetouan-Al-Hoceima, welcomes and criticizes the level of support for the strike.weaknesses of the state university”. “The lack of staff is obvious, especially in open faculties. More than 3,000 students are enrolled annually at some levels. This situation seriously affects the quality of teaching and the psychological state of the professor, who should pay attention to academic research.”is sorry as it is This teacher at Abdelmalek Essaadi University.

If SNESup trade union members share these demands, they prefer to consult. Thus, Professor Miloud Belkadi respects the choice to resort to boycott, but prefers “flexibility”. “At SNESup, we try to find solutions that suit the socio-economic situation of the country. It is not in anyone’s interest that an institution with more than 14,000 professors starts the year with a strike.he tells us.

However, this official does not rule out the possibility that SNESup will follow in SMASup’s footsteps: “If we do not get any feedback from the government regarding our claim document, a boycott will be applied as a last resort.”.

The minister answers: The ministry’s response to allegations of a lack of human resources has been swift. During a press conference on Tuesday, Minister Abdellatif Miraoui announced the creation of 2,350 budget positions, including 760 professors specializing in education and medicine and 1,600 educational and administrative supervisors.

The minister wants to be reassured about the revision of the basic regulations of higher education and the increase of salaries. “Revision of the main statute is a priority for the ministry and it is part of our project to reform the system. he tells us. And to add: “The most important thing is to ensure the attractiveness of the profession”.

To know more: Due to the numerous weaknesses of the state university, the Ministry of Higher Education is obliged to solve the problems related to the integration of students, especially those returning from Ukraine, as well as to put an end to the disorderly situation at the university. sector, initiating the long-awaited reform. For this, Abdellatif Miraoui proposes a completely new model of the Moroccan university.

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