School and Education in Algeria

In Algeria, the education follows a 5-4-3 system, where the primary school lasts for 5 years, the secondary school for 4 years and the secondary school for 3 years. According to UNESCO, 27% of the population over 15 years were illiterate in 2006.

The education system in the country has undergone several major changes since its release, but is built on the French education system. Strengthening Arab – Islamic culture and socialism has been central to the education system since liberation. The schools are bilingual with tuition in both Arabic and French.

Basic education

The 9-year primary school is compulsory and free for everyone. The first 3 years will provide basic skills in accounting, reading, language, physical education, religion and aesthetic subjects. The next 3 years will also be taught in natural sciences and social sciences. During the last 3 years of primary school, technology is also taught, environmental, cultural and economic.

The high school has three fields of study – one academic, one general and one technical, and concludes with a bachelor’s degree.

Algeria Country Flag

Algeria flag source:

Multiparty Control

Bendjedid was re-elected in January 1984. In October 1988, protests began in several cities against the scarcity of water and basic goods. The protests also called into question the legitimacy of the FLN and the military. In this situation, militant fundamentalist Muslims were among the most important agitation groups. Some mosques – especially in the popular districts – became the center of political manifestations. Especially during the Friday prayer that was used to formulate political and social demands. Some of the most radical Islamist groups began sending volunteers to Afghanistan to fight jihad“Holy war” against the Soviet-backed Kabul regime. The protests and agitation forced Bendjedid to promise a new constitution, which in mid-1989 introduced multi- party rule, thus ending FLN’s 27-year one-party rule.

Over 20 different political groups – among them several Islamic ones – propagated openly to their positions. The most important were: the Islamic Savior Front (FIS), the Islamic Da’wa League, the Socialist Avant-garde Party (PAGS) (Communist), and the Collection for Culture and Democracy (RDC), which had a substantial Kabylian base – ethnic minority of Berber origin. Mouloud Hamrouche, the leader of the reformist sector, was appointed prime minister. At the first multi-party election following Algeria’s secession from France, FIS won a significant victory over the FLN.

FIS wins the elections

In June 1991, the Mouloud Hamrouche government submitted its farewell request following extensive agitation from the mosques. At the same time, the country was put in a state of emergency in light of the massive agitation by the FIS, which required holding presidential elections on the transformation of Algeria into an Islamic state. As new prime minister was appointed Sid Ahmed Ghozali – an oil technician who had been foreign minister in the previous government. The government promised to conduct presidential and parliamentary elections by the end of the year, and the FIS stopped its agitation.

The country applied for loans from the IMF to offset the falling oil prices and Ghozali made proposals for reform of the electoral laws, which included: allowed the husband to vote for his wife. But the changes were boycotted by the FLN parliamentary majority. In the December 1991 elections, turnout reached 60% of the 13 million eligible voters. The result of the first round of elections was a big victory for the FIS, gaining 188 out of 430 seats in parliament against the FFS 25 and the FLN 15. The anti-fundamentalist sectors in the country were deeply alarmed by the FIS victory in the first round. This was especially true of the FFS and the country’s LO, UGTA. They conducted a demonstration with 100,000 participants in the capital city of Algiers. Also included were women’s organizations, middle classes and intellectuals.

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President Chadli Benjedid resigned following intense pressure from the military and FLN politicians. They feared a total FIS victory. Instead, a Supreme Security Council consisting of 3 military people and the Prime Minister was formed. A short time later, a Supreme Council of State was led by Mohamed Boudiaf, who had been opposition leader within FLN and in exile since 1964. The council immediately initiated the arrest of FIS leaders and the election results were canceled. In February, the State Council put the whole country in a state of emergency for 1 year. The military opposed any possible division of power with the FIS. On March 25, 92, the FIS was banned. In the first days of April, the government dissolved about 400 municipal councils that had been chaired by members of the FIS since the June 1990 municipal elections. In late April, the Supreme Court affirmed the illegalization of the FIS.