The exam’s Comprehension Text
Morocco’s street children live a difficult life, often filled with harmful drugs and crime. Efforts to reintegrate them into families and schools are somewhat successful but experts say the problem is large and its root lies in poverty and difficult social circumstances.
Othmane left his home and school at the age of fourteen to live on the street. He no longer wanted to see his mother fight the daily battle to get bread for his five little siblings and pay for his school expenses. “The street is not a better place to live in,” Othmane says, “but at least she will not have to think about my daily living. In the meantime, I may be able to help her.” Othmane carries bags of vegetables and other purchases for customers at a nearby market. In this way, he earns a few dirhams a day, enough to bring a little money back home.
Othmane is one of the growing numbers of street children in Morocco. These are the homeless and marginalized youths without identity or family. The sidewalks, public gardens, and the buildings doorsteps are their beds.
In Casablanca, these children’s main residences are alleys in the old city, the port, the train station, and the fruits and vegetables wholesale market. The port provides them with an opportunity to emigrate illegally. The wholesale market gives them the chance to work as porters. At the train station, they can earn little money from helping passengers or by begging from tourists.
According to the most recent statistics, 7,000 street children live in Casablanca Wilaya alone. 8,800 more live in other major cities such as Marrakesh, Fez, and Meknes. The government and many non-governmental organizations have adopted a strategy of building centers to shelter some of these street children and reintegrate them into schools and families, but the challenge is enormous. The number of children usually exceeds the centers’ capacities; there are not enough beds for all of them, and urgent is the need to act at once to save those children!
National exam | Scientific Streams | Ordinary Session 2009 with Answers