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Goethe Institut halts program for Moroccans

The Goethe Institut has temporarily suspended a program that allows students from different countries to spend a few weeks studying at a school in Germany to improve their language skills after three Moroccan participants disappeared.

GoetheThe students were on a study trip to Germany when they disappeared. Photo: Oliver Brauns via Pixabay

"The incident is a reason for us to review"

The three students, all high school-aged, were among a group of 14 Moroccan students taking part in the program. Launched by the German Federal Foreign Office in 2008, the program is designed to “arouse and sustain young people’s interest in and enthusiasm for modern-day Germany, German society and the German language”.

“We don’t have any further information on what they are doing or where they are at the moment”

Working in over 90 countries with a network of over 1,800 schools – seven of which are located in Morocco – 190 Moroccan students have taken part in the program since 2008.

As part of the global network of partner schools in Germany, schools become ingrained in an international community of learners through shared activities and exchange, the Goethe Institut explains on its website.

The program has previously encountered similar incidents; the disappearance of a student from Afghanistan led to the program also being suspended there.

“The incident is a reason for us to review the actual practice of scholarships in this program in Morocco and to see how we can make the program safer in the future,” a spokesperson from the Goethe Institut told The PIE News.

“During this examination, only the scholarship program in Morocco will temporarily be suspended.”

The institute has two branches in Morocco, one in Rabat and one in Casablanca, where courses and exams will continue unaffected.

The students are likely still in Germany and have yet to be located.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have any further information on what they are doing or where they are at the moment,” the spokesperson added.

“The police have been informed.”

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