3 minute read


Preprimary & Primary Education

The government pays most of the costs (approximately 83 percent) of nurseries, kindergartens, and community-based centers with parents paying the rest. In private centers, parents pay all the costs. Preschool educational institutions, authorized in 1976 by the Ministry of Labor and Social Works are governed by laws updated in 1983, 1985, 1988, 1990, and 1992. Children in preschool public institutions receive basic instruction regarding nutrition, health care, and education. There is no standardized curriculum; each institution decides on the activities in its program. Children receive around eight hours of services each day, approximately 1,280 hours a year.

In 1996, the total enrollment in primary schools included 94 percent of the appropriate age groups (97 percent of the boys, 91 percent of the girls). The Ministry reported that in 1996 there were 15,426 state primary schools with 4,674,947 students (46 percent were girls) and 149,958 teachers for the first through the sixth years, and 3,038 middle schools (for those age 7 to 9) with 1,762,761 students (38 percent were girls).

Rural-to-urban inequities exist in the system. The percentage of children enrolled in school is weakest among farmers and seasonal rural workers. In 1990, 9 percent of the students were repeating grades (boys, 11 percent; girls, 7 percent). In 1996, 10 percent of the students were repeating (boys, 13 percent; girls, 8 percent) and nearly 9 percent of all six-year-olds were not in school.

The accepted goal of primary education is to teach children to "practice, research, observe, and discover, as well as depend on themselves in acquiring knowledge and accomplishing their work." Arabic is the language of instruction, but other languages are not excluded.

Primary schools operate on a three cycle system. The curriculum in the first through third year of primary education (basic cycle) for children 6 to 9 years of age provides manual work with education and training tools to develop motor skills and help children understand and adapt to the environment. The second, or "awakening" cycle, is designed for 9- to 12-year-olds and occurs in the fourth through sixth year of education. The educational focus is on reinforcing skills acquired during the first stage plus continued learning in language, mathematics, environment, and religious and national studies. A first foreign language is offered. The third, or training, cycle (also called the middle school) comprises the seventh through the ninth year of education for children 12- to 15-years-old. The curriculum is dedicated to the study of linguistic, social, cultural, religious, and scientific education, as well as mathematics, physics, and various sciences of applied technology. A second foreign language is offered. At the end of the third stage, students take the final brevet d'enseignement fondamental (foundation education certificate, or B.E.F). If they pass, they gain access to general secondary schools, technical secondary schools, or technical training programs.

Special Education: Children and young people with special needs are neither registered nor categorized for official purposes under a policy of encouraging integration. Ministerial circulars were developed in the mid- 1990s concerning the future education of children with various difficulties, such as sensory impairments or chronic illnesses, such as diabetes or asthma.

Special education takes three forms: special classes in primary schools for children with hearing impairments, courses for students who repeat a year, and transition courses for students who arrive in school late. Special education is the combined responsibility of the Ministry of Education (concerned with pedagogy) and the Ministry of Social Affairs (concerned with administration and resourcing), with some additional responsibility shared by the Ministry of Health. The Office of Special Education within the Ministry of Education administers special education. Administrative decisions are made at national and regional levels. The National Consultative Council is responsible for the coordination of services at the national level. Children with severe handicaps are excluded from the public education system; they are placed directly in special care centers. Special education is financed entirely by the government.

Additional topics

Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.comGlobal Education ReferenceAlgeria - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education