School jeopardised for Moroccan pupils


CEUTA’S Education authorities want to remove 200 Moroccan pupils who study at local schools.

“Their own schools are good and up to standard,” said Francisco Antonio Gonzalez, the national government’s delegate in Ceuta.  “If they can get a good education in their own country, I don’t understand why they need to come here.” 

Education in Spain’s North African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla is controlled by the national government’s ministry of Education.  The ministry is now carrying out an on-the-spot investigation to determine which foreign pupils are entitled to attend Ceuta schools.

“We can’t consent to fraud,” Gonzalez announced.   There was no problem for foreign pupils whose fathers work legally in Ceuta but others “use deception” to receive a service they have no right to, he added.  

The investigation is part of a wider-reaching enquiry into abuse of Spain’s public services which expects to find around 2,500 fictitious names on the electoral rolls.

Moroccans account for only 1.3 per cent of pupils at Ceuta’s 23 schools. Nevertheless the enclave’s bad educational record and dropout rate were blamed last February on an “avalanche of Moroccans” by Education minister Jose Ignacio Wert.  He later had to rectify and explain that the pupils were Ceuta residents of Berber origin who make up 50 per cent of the primary and middle school population. 

The presence of Moroccan children in Ceuta’s schools is customary, teachers say.  The city is only a couple of kilometres away from the Moroccan towns of Castillejos (Fndek in Arabic) and Beliones and children cross the border each day to go to school.

They have ministry of Education authorisation and the Beliones border crossing is expressly opened for them each day, according to Guardia Civil sources.


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