new teaching methods, liberal arts, Primary education, independence, compulsory
Primary education is free and compulsory for all children between the ages of 6 and 16. The Algerian educational system, long patterned after the French, was changed by a program of Arabization shortly after independence. The government introduced new teaching methods and began training Algerian teachers and bringing in foreign, Arabic-speaking teachers. At independence, 10 percent of the population was literate; today, 90 percent of the total population can read. This improvement is one of Algeria’s greatest achievements since independence.
In the 1998-1999 school year some 4.8 million pupils attended primary schools and 2.8 million were enrolled in secondary schools. The government also maintains vocational and teacher-training schools.
Algeria has ten universities, including two universities of science and technology, and a number of technical colleges; the total enrollment at all institutions of higher education is about 300,000. The University of Algiers (1879) has faculties of law, medicine, science, and liberal arts. Seven of the universities and nearly all of the 20 or so specialized colleges have been founded since independence.
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