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New Framework Law Promotes Multilingual Education in Morocco

By Margot Eliason & Kawtar EnnajiRabat – The Moroccan parliamentary commission for teaching, culture, and communication has approved a new framework law for education. The framework law allows for technical subjects to be taught in foreign languages, and require Tamazight to be taught to all Moroccans.The parliamentary commission approved the framework law by a vast majority. 25 voted in favour of the new law, while two voted against the framework. There were also three abstentions. The commission was, however, divided on two controversial provisions. A number of members of parliament abstained from voting for Article 2 and Article 31, which were only approved by 12 and 11 votes respectively.Article 2 specifies that scientific and technical subjects can now be taught in foreign languages through a pedagogy called “Linguistic Alternation” (the equivalent of Content Language Integrated Learning).The article defines the “Linguistic Alternation” method as a “progressive educational choice used in multilingual education, in an aim to diversify the teaching of languages.” However, the framework stresses that this new method should be followed “while prioritizing Morocco’s two official languages [Arabic and Tamazight (Berber)].”Read also: Minister of Education Launches National Platform “Morocco Digital University”Article 2 adds that this reform “will be carried out through teaching some subjects, in particular scientific or technical subjects, or chapters of certain subjects in one or more foreign languages.” Article 31 relates to teaching Tamazight in school. It states that “upon completing high school, students should have mastered both Arabic and Tamazight in addition to two foreign languages.”The law also states that, “all foreign schools based in Morocco are required to teach Arabic and Tamazight to the Moroccan children enrolled in classes.” The framework does not appear to apply to foreign students. Choice of language in schoolsThe new framework law promotes multilingual education. The choice of foreign language, and its integration into the curriculum will then be a matter of choice for the school. Teaching in languages other than Arabic has raised controversy. Some schools already teach scientific subjects in French. Some say this entrenches disadvantage when it comes to accessing higher education which is delivered in French.In January 2015, the Higher Council of Education discussed prioritizing teaching English over French as a foreign language.For some, English is an “international” language which will provide students with a competitive advantage.“English is becoming more and more essential in higher education schools and universities,” Samir Benmakhlouf, CEO of London Academy Casablanca, told Moroccan newsource Le Matin in February.“The mastery of this language is crucial as the majority of international conferences and scientific journals are in English,” he added. “In the job market, it is the linguistic dimension that makes the difference between two otherwise equal candidates,” he explained.The Minister for Education Said Amzazi stated that the approval of the legal framework today was a “historical moment.”It is the first time that the education sector will have its own legal framework, which is a first step towards the Moroccan education system “taking off,” Amzazi told Maghreb Arab Press (MAP).The legal framework aims to promote access to equal education for all Moroccan children. read more

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GK Chesterton could be first English saint since 17th century amid claims

The last English saints to be canonised were the so-called Forty Martyrs of England and Wales, who were executed for treason and related offences between 1535 and 1679. Although the the seventeeth-century martyrs were recognised by Pope Paul VI only in 1970, if Chesterton’s clause is successful he would be the first English saint to have lived for more than 300 years.The process of canonisation must begin at least five years after a person’s death, except for in exceptional circumstances decided by the Pope, such as the canonisation of Mother Theresa. It usually takes at least fifty years, and the Vatican must find evidence that at least two miracles have been performed.Chesterton’s grave is in Beaconsfied, Buckinghamshire, and has become a landmark of local interest, although Canon Udris said that residents “wouldn’t have conceived of him in any sense as a candidate for a sainthood”, and that much of the pressure for his canonisation had come from abroad. Members of the Argentinian Chesterton society and supporters in the United States and Canada were the first to petition the Bishop of Northampton to begin the canonisation process in 2013. After the report is published, the Bishop will decide whether to open a ‘cause’ with the Vatican, which begins the formal investigation into the extent of Chesterton’s holiness and the sanctity of his life. Pope Francis may look favourably on the application, having reportedly been a member of the G.K. Chesterton Society in his home country of Argentina.At a later stage of the canonisation process, the Vatican will look for evidence that he has performed posthumous miracles by answering prayers. The report’s findings show that infertile couples, in particular, are said to have singled out Chesterton, himself childless, to ask for miracle conceptions, said Canon John Udris, who compiled the report.“Very interestingly, I have noticed people saying that they are praying for him,” he said.“Because they didn’t have any children, Frances and Gilbert [Chesterton], so they are finding him as a bit of a go-to person, if for example a couple is infertile and looking to have a child.” “[Miracles] will be, if the cause is opened, down the line, what will people be looking for. And of course, people have already been feeding back,” Canon Udris said.Chesterton was an eminent writer, and produced hundreds of stories, books, essays and plays.His works of Christian apologetics are highly regarded, and he was eventually knighted by Pope Pius XI before his death in 1936.Opponents of G.K. Chesterton’s canonisation point to alleged anti-Semitic views he expressed in his lifetime, including the presentation of Jews as greedy or cowardly in his literary works. Later in his life, Chesterton said that Jews should have to wear distinctive dress so that they could be identified, and opposed the defendant Alfred Dreyfus in a trial widely perceived to be an anti-Semitic miscarriage of justice.Canon Udris told The Daily Telegraph that while presenting the views of “people who have hesitations, reservations, and actually who are dead set against the cause” is crucial to his report, his personal view is that “wasn’t a racist bone in his body”. “I won’t be making any recommendations, although he [Bishop Doyle] knows and I’ve made no bones about my personal hopes that the cause will be opened,” he said. A renowned author may become England’s first saint for 300 years after Catholic couples claimed he answered their prayers for “miracle” children.G.K Chesterton is best known for his short stories featuring the character Father Brown, a crime solving priest loosely based on the man who was involved in his conversion to Catholicism in 1922.But now he could become England’s first Roman Catholic saint since the 17th century, after an official report examining the strength of his case is published next month.The Daily Telegraph understands that the document, commissioned by the Bishop of Northampton, will show that Catholics are praying to Chesterton and asking for intercession – his intervention in their lives.It will also dispute claims that Chesterton held anti-Semitic views and used Jewish character tropes in his work.  Author G K CHESTERTON Many oppose Chesterton’s canonisation, pointing to anti-Semitic views he expressed in his lifetime.Credit:Getty Creative Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more