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Medical students in Morocco stage protest after dialogue stalls

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Medical students in Morocco protested in Rabat today after their attempts at dialogue with the government stalled.

Security forces blocked their path, forcing them to gather near Bab El Had Square in Rabat.

“The students’ forms of protest are civil and peaceful,” Mohamed Hajouji, an Oujda’s Faculty of Medicine representative, told Hespress.

The students had initially postponed a protest planned for April 25th as “a gesture of good faith, ” but the government’s lack of response has reignited their frustrations.

In their lab coats,the students reiterated primary concerns that primarily focus on the recent reforms made to medical education in Morocco, which they say lack clarity amid governmental silence.

The government’s decision to reduce the number of years of study from seven to six, taken as part of its reform aiming to reduce the significant shortage of doctors in public hospitals, is one of the main reasons that prompted the students to boycott their studies, and the ministries of higher education and health reject any possibility of reversing it.

The students’ demands also include a more transparent dialogue with the government and a resolution to overcrowding in medical schools.

Students are threatening a “white year” in protest but said they were open to summer school if the government addressed their concerns.

“We held out for four months, and we will continue to hold out until the demands are met,” Soha, a protester, said.

Despite the protests, the government maintains that professors are still teaching and dialogue remains open.

Head of government Aziz Akhannouch has publicly stated that a “white year” is not an option.

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