Academic Writing: What does school want out of students?



What does school want out of students?

    What an educational institution expect from students? This is a real intriguing question. To me, it’s like asking what a mother expects from her children. She just wants the best for them, but what is the best?  Successful life, a good job, a participating member of this society, maybe a critical thinker who will see beyond the limits traced by our society or even better a follower who will fit into the stereotype of good student, drawed by our archaic educational system.

    In my early age, I was looking at school as institution of knowledge and discipline. We assimilated school to a mother in my culture, it’s a place where educators are treating you as their own children because we going to be the future of this nation. Our parents were proud of us whenever we had good grades. For them, the only way to succeed in life was to succeed in school. Thinking about this period, I have the feeling that I was a dupe. I spent 12 years seeking knowledge to meet the school’s as well as my parents’ expectations.

    Before reaching high school, I was not paying any attention to our educational system. It consisted on learning information that will be asked to be thrown on a piece of paper during the exam day. Who am I to think differently? As long as I hag good grades and my parents and teachers were satisfy, it worked for Me., I had to use one skill, my memory. Having a strong memory made the exercise easy for me and according to my educators; I was a good student.

    In high school, I started having some doubt about the whole system. I was not comfortable with the methods used by our teachers. I had one question reasoning in my head ; What is going to make me different from the other students If we are learning the same information and we are asked to repeated it again and again .How and when are we going to develop our own opinions and ideas ? When are we going to think critically about the world around us?

    If we can not even talk about the three taboos in our society: religion, sex and politics, how about are you going to talk?  Subjects proposed by some scholars 20 or even 30 years ago?

    Even the philosophy class was limited to some non confliction subjects. We did not have any possibility of debates on class. The government had cut a number of subjects from this specific philosophy class. Having my mother as my philosophy teacher, she told that a number of the opposition leaders were teachers. The government decided to fire them to not let them transmit their ideas to the new generation, this is way most of the teachers are following the government menu afraid of losing their job.

    The most relevant paradox of this sick institution was language barrier. You study during all theses years in Arabic until you reach the college,  then you have to switch to French. How can you expect to succeed in such conditions, maybe they just want as to fail? Since our independence from France in 1956, every government was defending the cause of Arabic language as national language. In the same time, they were building private school where French was the official language. Once they graduate from high school, their kids had all keys to succeed in their study and reach the famous universities. How it can be fair if the rules of game are not the same for every one .How can you compete with them if you still struggling with the language barrier. This strategy allowed them to keep the position of power generation after generation until now.

    School is not my mother any more. It’s an institution directed by a corrupted government belonging to a few people who want as to be under their control, they want to private us from some fundamental rights as freedom of expression.

    This educational system is a big joke, a system forming a generation of unqualified workers, a system blocking our only outlet for a social assumption; getting a job. According to the World Bank. From 14 countries in the region of North Africa and Middle East, Moroccan education succeed in occupying the 11th rank . A calamity as the bottom of the class is Yemen, Djibouti and Iraq, politically and economically unstable countries.

    In the US, it may seem different because it’s a nation of democracy and human rights. We have an exceptional educational system offering limitless resources and opportunities for the students. School wants us not just to succeed, but also be pioneer able to make difference in this challenging world.

    School wants innovative students, students able to think out of the box like Steve jobs. A person with vision, who influenced the present to make it look like future.

    The reality is another story; the educational institutions want us to be part of the system governing this society. A system where every person is put into specific category, an easy way to control the society. They convince us to seek degree as only way to succeed in this society. The parents private themselves from necessities to guaranty to their children access to college; this is the starting of vicious cycle. The fresh graduate, take loans to pay their parents back, another for a car and one more for house. Now, you are in the hand of bankers. You have to work all your life to pay your loans back; this is the modern version of slavery. This system do not like free electron, person like Steve Jobs who decided to choose another way to seek knowledge. He dropped his classes because he did not want to leave the life that his parents and society chose for him. He wanted his freedom back.

    For him, taking all his parents savings to get a degree did not make any sense .He taught differently and the result was to give US the most valuable company in the world.

    After all these years spent seeking knowledge in three different countries with three different approaches, I question myself, what school really wanted from me? As long as I don’t have clear vision for what I really want from life, I’m going to be a follower as all my generation. I will cross fingers hoping that school will answer the question for me. 



RAPPORTS SUR LE DÉVELOPPEMENTDE LA RÉGION MENA: Un parcours     non     encore achevé :La réforme de l’éducation au Moyen-Orient et en Afrique du Nord. 2007. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / the World Bank.


Lev Grossman and Harry McCracken: The Inventor of the future .October 27, 2011.Time.