Moroccan students receive bac results with mixed emotions
By Sarah Touahri for Magharebia in Rabat – 18/06/09
More than 87,000 Moroccan students breathed a sigh of relief Wednesday (June 17th) after learning that they passed their baccalaureate examinations. The first session's results, announced in the evening, came after a stressful day for candidates and families alike.
Time hung heavy for many who were anxious to receive the final verdict on their efforts. At about 5 in the evening, students and parents converged on high schools in large numbers. But only around 27% received good news. And of those who passed, 36.7% were happy to learn they passed with merit. One female student in Rabat emerged as the biggest achiever, scoring 18.67 out of 20.
Khadija, in her forties, whooped with delight on seeing her daughter's name on the results chart. "Meriem passed with merit, and I really wasn't expecting that. I was worried she might fail. Now I can enjoy my holidays," she said.
Standing next to her, a disappointed Fatima Ezzehra shed a few tears. Her mark will not be enough to get her into one of the top higher education establishments. "I didn't get a merit, even though I did everything I could to get a good average, which would have enabled me to choose something other than university."
The pass rate varied according to subject area. The scientific, mathematical and technical areas registered a 44.82% pass rate, while the rate was just 26.34% for literary subjects. Private candidates, who made up 12.62% of the candidates sitting the examinations, got the lowest scores.
According to the authorities, 5.5% more students passed this year's exams compared to the first session in 2008. The education ministry expects the number of baccalaureate holders to increase following the second session, which is planned for July 2nd-4th. More than 121,900 candidates will take the exams again, representing 48.6% of the candidates from the first round.
One teacher, Siham Slimani, said the number of candidates being called to take re-sits shows that there is a problem in Morocco's education system, because "so many of those who get through to the final year of secondary school can't get into higher education. The government needs to review the education system from primary upwards."
Students entitled to a second attempt try to be optimistic. Abdelfettah was hoping to get his precious pass the first time round, but wasn't successful. "This isn't the time to worry about what might have been," he said, looking resigned. "I was half-expecting this result because the exams were really hard."
The posting of results on notice-boards, despite being a very traditional method, is still the most trusted system as far as students are concerned. Many headed off to their high schools to consult the boards even after learning their results by SMS.
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