Parents of students studying at Casablanca’s Mohammed Al-Fatih school are condemning the Moroccan Ministry of the Interior’s decision to shut down all the institutions linked to Fethullah Gülen, the alleged mastermind of the July 15 attempted coup d’état, which aimed to overthrow Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
In a video filmed by Moroccan news outlet Le360, students appear to be crying and irritated parents display their confusion at the ministry’s decision regarding the schools in which they have enrolled their children.
“The teaching methodology of this school is good and the textbooks are not related to any ideology or policy,” one father said. “Giving us one month to move our children from one school to another is unacceptable.”
“The school has been open for 15 years,” another parent said. “Why did they not make sure the school was rid of the Gulen movement’s ideology? There is no proof.”
“We reject this decision. It is a political decision not related to education,” one parent of two said. “This decision was made without taking into considerations the parents’ conditions.”
“They want to disperse our children like sheep,” one mother cried. “It’s not fair to make this decision like this. Where are those warning sent [from the Ministry of Education]? We asked school officials [and they received nothing].”
For his part, Zouhir Mohammed Kadour, the Director of the Mohammed Al-Fatih School, said, “We are shocked by the announcement of the Interior Ministry […] We’ve worked for the Al-Fatih School Group for 22 years. We followed the Moroccan curriculum, the Moroccan Ministry of Education program, and the school staff is Moroccan.”
“We have not seen any deviation and we did not spread any ideology,” Kadour continued.
“[Allegations] about our relationship with Gulen are false.” Kadour added. “The school began with subsidies by Turkish businessmen, but we are not related to these political issues.”
At the end of the video, students are seen crying and reiterating that they will never leave their school. They also assert that that the teachers are proficient and gentle with them.
The controversial decision to close the schools follows a communiqué issued by the Interior Ministry published on Thursday, which stated that “investigations have revealed that the schools were spreading the ‘ideology’ and ideas of Gulen’s movement — ideology that contradicts the educational system and religious principles of Morocco.”
The ministry has set a deadline of one month for institution officials to comply with its decision. Countdown to the deadline started on Thursday.
Published on Morocco World News, 7 January 2016, Saturday
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