Exam Time

Lately I have finally gotten into something of a rhythm in my site.   I spend the most time in my site and when I get pulled away -for things like Spring Camp – I feel like I am trying to catch up with what I missed out.

As the national exams for bac students come closer numbers have dropped significantly at the Dar Chabab in the English classes.

So many students are seriously scared of not getting the right score on this exam – they literally spend all day and night studying in an attempt to ensure success.  Rumors of cheating on the exam fly fast and furious through my small city and I am sure in other major cities.

Are the exams rigged? Many Moroccans believe that they are given the small number of openings in the national universities – if you know you can’t give a spot to everyone who passes – one of my youth reasoned – then they must fail a percentage in order not have to deal with a massive influx of youth who passed the exam but they don’t have room for in the universities.

This does lead to many many youth and parents going to extremes to attempt to get a 20/20, which is like a 100% in America.  Parent’s pay large amounts to tutors, associations and for anything they can get that might improve their student’s scores and chances on the bac.

Has this led to ministry officials bribed, out right purchasing of assurances of 20/20 or leaks of the exam prior to the test date? Yes.  Although I personally don’t know anyone with enough money to do this or the right blackmail to do so to any given official here in Morocco.

The youth in turn study on crazy schedules, drink enough energy drinks to put American pop stars to shame, all night study groups with friends and resort to unhealthy distressing habits such as Facebook 24/7, comfort eating, sleeping excessively, sexting, drugs, alcohol, partying, slacking and or just giving up.

Basically think of it like the worst night you crammed for a test in University – multiply it by two years, that one crazy night of partying that no one talks about because it was so crazy, bad 80’s meets Euro trash fashion, 90’s hair cuts, skinny jeans, enough energy drinks and junk food to kill an elephant and you have male Bac students in Morocco.

Female students are the same minus the partying but plus strict supervision, house chores, and supervising-possibly caring for younger siblings and dealing with harassment every day on the street from men.

I feel for them.  I know I would never make it in the Moroccan education system.  I would probably resign myself to Cinderella Syndrome – which so many young women in Morocco do.  I would just cook, clean, take care of my siblings and resign myself to await for my Moroccan Prince Charming in my fathers home to sweep me away from it all.  Where once married I can do the same exact thing in my husband’s home while having children and enjoying a blissful marriage.

This isn’t to say being a housewife is bad or that marriage ultimately resigns you to being a housewife in Morocco – however the professional women I have seen – fall into three categories 1. Foreign women 2. Mid 20’s – 30’s unmarried Moroccan women and 3. Older Moroccan women who have either been widowed, divorced etc who are now in the workforce.

It begs the question then why are my best English students overwhelmingly young women? And where are the young men?

I see the young men flooding cafes to drink tea, do pot while watching the latest match or soft porn music video while chain-smoking or they sit on the corner with nothing to do and harass the women they think are attractive as they go by.  The excessive liberties given to the boys and young men have left them without guidance and a clear direction in which they should head.

I have a hypothesis that the strict double standards of Moroccan society have backfired when it comes to raising boys and provided the environment that has made young women discontent enough with their circumstances that they are now seeking their independence through education.

I see more young women holding jobs, with degrees and in classrooms – not to mention studying late into the night in comparison to the young men.  I wonder if this means in 10 years the Parliament and society in Morocco will be dominated by women – not men.  We will see.