The exam’s Comprehension Text
Dropping out of school is a serious problem in Morocco. Each year, nearly 200,000 children leave school before completing their primary education. A new government initiative in Morocco offers some measures to reduce the number of students who withdraw from school. This initiative is part of an awareness campaign targeting parents.
Researchers and government officials largely attribute the phenomenon to the ignorance of poor parents who do not realize the importance of education. Some parents, for example, withdraw their children from school due to the competing demands for household income which often push children to work. Drop-out rates are higher among children of illiterate parents. These rates can be reduced if we sensitize parents about the importance of sending their children to school. In 2006, Morocco launched a number of awareness campaigns to address this growing problem. These campaigns aim at introducing a national programme which encourages school children to make a list of non-registered children and children who have dropped out. More than 14,000 teachers and headmasters will also be responsible for implementing thin plan.
The initiative is considered a logical one because it will get children who have dropped out back into the school system, and it will act as a preventive measure because it raises students’ awareness to the negative consequences of dropping out. The initiative was tested last year in a few regions. Fatima Lharti, a twelve-year-old schoolgirl from Tangiers, says she managed to stop approximately one dozen children from dropping out and persuaded a number of others who had already dropped out to come back to school. “The most difficult part of the work is convincing parents.” However, “when they hear children – the same age as their own – talking about the consequences of taking their children out of school, most of them come around within a few minutes,” Fatima proudly told Magharebia website reporter.
Samir El Garoumi missed a year of school to work for his family. He is now back in school and has struck a healthy balance between work and studies. In the morning, he goes to school and in the evening, he helps his father in his workshop. This year, he is taking part in the initiative to make a list of children who are not in school. He also advises parents in his family circle to allow their children to finish their education.
(Adapted from: www.magharebia.com)
National exam | Humanities Stream | Ordinary Session 2009