Report of Algeria

9. Right to education

53. The right to education is enshrined in the basic statutes of the Republic which guarantee access to education and the free provision thereof to all children. Article 53 of the Constitution states that “The right to education is guaranteed. Education shall be provided free of charge under the conditions established by law.”

54. Moreover, the general educational policy bill emphasizes the compulsory nature of education for all girls and all boys aged between 6 and 16, with a possible two-year extension for disabled children. Parents or legal guardians who fail to comply with this obligation are liable to a fine.

55. Since acceding to independence, Algeria has devoted a substantial proportion of its resources to developing the national education sector. After more than 40 years of effort, Algeria has not only made up for its traditional backwardness in educational matters, but has also been able to meet the strong demand for education that has been expressed since independence.

56. Overall pupil numbers have increased tenfold since 1962 to reach the current level of 7.5 million pupils (as a result of an infrastructure programme and the recruitment of staff in all disciplines), which has today made it possible to achieve an enrolment rate of nearly 97 per cent, compared with only 43.5 per cent in 1965, thereby bringing Algeria closer to fulfilling the Millennium Development Goals.

57. Attention has also been paid to school support, involving the provision of millions of textbooks, the opening of school canteens for which appropriations have increased twelvefold since 1999, as well as of half-board or full-board facilities which doubled in number over the same period, school transport arrangements covering more than 1,000 of the country’s 1,561 communes, health services which are being made extensively available, and the allocation of new-school-year scholarships for the most needy children, numbering 3 million. 

2. Constraints in the areas of education, health and employment

Right to education

94. In terms of the relevant indicators, while Algeria can point to the achievement of considerable progress, particularly as regards equality of access to education and schooling for girls, in response to both the Millennium Development Goals and the objectives of Education For All (EFA), the fact remains that these indicators, on closer analysis, show the existence and persistence of a number of difficulties relating in particular to educational wastage.

95. For example, with reference to the period from 2000-2001 to 2005-2006, the dropout rate rose from 1.78 per cent to 2.33 per cent for primary schools and from 10.83 per cent to 8.77 per cent for secondary schools. For the entire cycle of basic education, which constitutes the compulsory phase of schooling in Algeria, that is, the period from age 6 to age 16, the dropout rate rose from 4.49 per cent in 2000-2001 to 4.56 per cent in 2005-2006.

96. Educational counselling and assistance measures have also been taken as a means of combating educational wastage. They are aimed, inter alia, at keeping children in school as long as possible, particularly in the case of girls from underprivileged backgrounds.

97. The recent restructuring of the secondary education system also offers further possibilities for keeping pupils in the system by providing openings to occupational activity and springboards between the different parts of the education system (including, in particular, general education and vocational education and training), which now give pupils the chance to remain in the system as long as possible and to leave with a qualification that would facilitate their integration into working life.

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