As several families in Casablanca opted for preschool education for their children in preparation for the start of the new school year, which began on Monday, September 7, and after purchasing school supplies and paying all re-enrollment and insurance fees for private schools and preparing to begin classes after months of interruption, parents were surprised by a government decision the day before the new school year began. The decision stated that all schools must close for 14 days, and that schools, including private, public, and mission schools, should adopt distance learning for all grade levels in all prefectures of the city. This decision was made following the registration of 1,000 cases of Coronavirus in Casablanca alone.
The decision to opt for distance learning, which was expected, has caused great confusion among families, especially because most of them have chosen face-to-face education and risked endangering the health of their children. They have not found a better alternative since parents are working and therefore leaving children alone at home is not an option, especially for small children who are not yet old enough to take responsibility.
Directly after the decision was announced, the parents reacted on Facebook. Most reactions reflected denial and confusion, while accusing the government of mismanagement and chaotic decision-making. The obligation to continue distance learning included not only Casablanca, but schools in other cities as well, such as Salé and Marrakech. As a result, several parents asked to be refunded by the government, which “tricked” them and fell victim to the “private school lobby”, while others suggested postponing the start of the school year by 14 days, instead of studying at a distance.
Education is on hold in the Casablanca schools for 14 days until further notice, with the possibility of extending the period in case the number of infected people continues to rise.