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Defying Boundaries: Incarcerated Students Pursue Academic Dreams Through Prison Baccalaureate Exams

Tuesday 11 June 2024 - 10:45
Defying Boundaries: Incarcerated Students Pursue Academic Dreams Through Prison Baccalaureate Exams

In a remarkable display of resilience and determination, 129 incarcerated candidates at Casablanca's Ain Sbaa 1 local prison are currently undertaking the national baccalaureate examinations, defying the constraints of their circumstances and striving to unlock new horizons through education.

Data provided by the Regional Academy of Education and Training (AREF) of Casablanca-Settat and the prison administration reveals that these 129 candidates, comprising 23 enrolled students from the Ain Sbaa Reform and Rehabilitation Center and 106 independent candidates, have diligently prepared to secure their high school diplomas.

Since Monday morning, the candidates have been immersed in the baccalaureate exams, utilizing eight fully equipped and norm-compliant rooms established within the prison premises. To ensure a seamless examination process, 16 teachers have been mobilized, with two instructors assigned to each room, complemented by educational staff overseeing the administrative aspects of the operation.

Abdelmoumen Taleb, the director of the AREF of Casablanca-Settat, underscored the exceptional efforts undertaken by all stakeholders to ensure that the baccalaureate exams at the Ain Sbaa 1 local prison unfold under optimal conditions. "An extraordinary effort has been made by all parties involved to ensure that the baccalaureate exams organized at the Ain Sbaa 1 local prison take place under the best possible circumstances," he stated.

In a statement following an on-site visit to monitor the examination proceedings, Taleb highlighted the fruitful partnership between the AREF and the penitentiary institution, which facilitated thorough preparation and academic support for the candidates throughout the year. He assured that the AREF has ensured that these exams are conducted under the same conditions as those in other examination centers across the region.

To oversee the operation and guarantee its smooth execution, the AREF has assigned a center chief, a regional quality controller, 16 teachers, and an administrative team. Taleb revealed that the incarcerated candidates have expressed satisfaction with the conditions under which they are taking the exams.

El Khamar Bendraa, the head of the Social Action Service at the Ain Sbaa 1 local prison, affirmed that the 129 candidates are undertaking the baccalaureate exams within "normal organizational conditions." He noted that throughout the year, the incarcerated students benefited from supplementary courses and psychological support, ensuring adequate preparation for the exams.

Echoing this sentiment, several incarcerated students expressed their gratitude for the conducive examination conditions, commending the prison administration and educational staff for their efforts in providing academic support and psychological assistance, all aimed at facilitating their pursuit of higher education and successful reintegration into society.

According to AREF data, the enrolled candidates are distributed across various streams: Literature (8), Life and Earth Sciences (11), Physical Sciences (3), and Physical Sciences-French Section (1). Meanwhile, the independent candidates are pursuing studies in Physical Sciences-French Section (1), Physical Sciences (4), Literature (42), Economic Sciences (3), Human Sciences (30), Life and Earth Sciences (25), and Life and Earth Sciences-French Section (1).

As these incarcerated students navigate the challenges of their circumstances, their unwavering commitment to education serves as a powerful testament to the transformative power of knowledge and the indomitable human spirit.

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