Morocco student ‘accused of cheating in exam’ commits suicide

The rigorous preparation required for exams, combined with the high stakes of the exams, can lead to significant anxiety and stress among students [file photo]

A 17-year-old Moroccan girl, allegedly caught cheating in a baccalaureate exam, committed suicide in the western city of Safi on Monday, sparking shock and anger in the kingdom, according to reports.

Ahmed Karimi, director of the Regional Academy of Education and Training in the Marrakech-Safi region, said the student was in their second year of the Hassan II High School in Safi.

The New Arab cannot independently confirm if the death was related to the exams with UK charity Samaritans, which provides emotional support to people in distress, noting that no single event or trigger leads someone to take their life.

Students in Arab countries, though, face immense pressure during exam periods, with criticism over the structure of the education system that often puts unnecessary stress on students.

Rights groups in Morocco have called for action after the student’s death, with the Moroccan Association for Human Rights saying it was a “tragic event which shocked the country”.

The president of the NGO Abdel Rahim Hanami told The New Arab‘s Arabic-language sister site, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, that his organisation is pushing the public prosecution and ministry of education to investigate the incident.

He said the “failure of the educational system to provide psychological support for students preparing to take the high school exams” must be looked into and that punishments enacted by schools and colleges adds further strain on students.

Strict monitoring during exams, such as switching off internet nationwide to prevent cheating, exacerbate the tensions on students who are often left feeling overwhelmed and vulnerable, Hanami added.

Baccalaureate exams in Morocco, which began this week, are known to be hugely stressful for children, given their critical role in contributing to their future educational and career opportunities with nearly 500,000 students sitting tests in the kingdom this year.

When life is difficult, Samaritans are here – day or night, 365 days a year. You can call them for free on 116 123, email them at, or visit to find your nearest branch. Alternatively visit

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