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This transcript appears in the July 17, 2020 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

[Print version of this transcript]

Sarah Fahim
Education Is a Right of All Youth

Schiller Institute
Sarah Fahim

Ms. Fahim, a Moroccan student studying in Paris, has been working with the Schiller Institute in France. This is the edited transcript of her presentation to the Schiller Institute International Conference, on June 27, 2020, “Will Humanity Prosper, or Perish? The Future Demands a Four-Power Summit Now,” on Panel 3: “The Job of Youth.”

I have been studying the work of the Schiller Institute on the situation of young people’s fate in my country and across Africa. Real phenomena are at the source of the failure of these young people to enter the professional world.

Morocco is a divided country. Politics has unfortunately made of the national educational system something singularly reserved for less privileged social classes. There are way too many students and they’re growing towards a school system that does not lead them out of poverty, and towards success. There are way too few teachers and they’re discouraged by mediocre conditions and educational structure. Then comes trouble with language: In public school classrooms French is not well taught, even when this language is, especially since the French protectorates that ended 1956, essential in today’s job market. This language, as well as the Arabic language, is spoken daily across the country. These young people then find themselves less trained, pushed aside, and see their future constricted by these conditions.

At the same time, another part of the population is benefitting from quality teaching. The educational system itself has never before been this developed. This minority has access to an education that, while expensive, still guarantees admission into prestigious universities as well as very good jobs, the best in the country. This evolution has led to a very real crisis, driven by the loss of confidence in one’s school, its role, efficacy, and equality. Public schooling, though supposed to bring children from various backgrounds together, as opposed to separating them, has failed. This is a real threat to African development. Governors do not ask with the required urgency for the repair of, and investment in young people’s education, to offer them training that will ensure job acquisitions down the line.

This is how creating job opportunities as mentioned in the LaRouche plan will be achieved. Indeed, we need to remember that in the ’60s, economists created a positive correlation between human investments and economic growth. The development process of industrialized countries as well as developing countries has been structurally shown to accompany a general growth in the skills and educational levels of their populations. The essence of creation of job opportunities lies in education, which is one of the strongest weapons against mass poverty.

While we stand to support the African development process, I always wondered if there was this conscious will to deprive Africa of development and education for its youth. Can knowledge be dangerous? The answer to this question came to me when I paid closer attention to colonialism in this continent. It is important to understand that, in today’s world, as claimed by LaRouche studies and conferences led by the Schiller Institute, every country’s prosperity contributes to the well-being of the general population.

To me, at 19 years old, the only way to save the youth from this vicious cycle is to train them. Exposure to social media is stronger than ever nowadays. We must use all the digital resources we have access to and take advantage of this potential. With around 364 million Africans ages 15-35, this continent has the youngest population on Earth. The United Nations predicted that Africa will be home to over 40% of the global youth population by 2030. The challenge of how to successfully integrate these new people into the formal economy needs to become a top priority for governments, policymakers, and development practitioners.

I was lucky enough to be born to hard-working parents, who had the privilege to offer me an education, that could help me succeed. I want this opportunity to become a right for all. The children of my country, of my continent, of the entire planet deserve these rights. But even with the paradoxical reality between a youth that is sabotaged by our educational system and this enormous potential young people have, complete with the will to act and in an awareness of the battles to come, it is our duty to provide them with the necessary tools and the new job opportunities will naturally follow.

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