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Algeria student protests against moves to curb Berber language development

Algerian students can be seen protesting against the proposal to curb Berber language development

Two secondary schools in Algeria’s Berber region took part in protests this week denouncing the rejection by the parliamentary majority of a proposal to upgrade the Amazigh language.

The students expressed their anger at the position adopted by the deputies of parliament by rejecting the proposal submitted by MP Nadia Shwitem for the compulsory teaching of the Amazigh language in all public and private schools.

The proposal was rejected by a parliamentary majority which the protesters blasted as unconstitutional following changes in 2016 which officialised the language.

Shwitem submitted a proposal that included the inclusion of article 104 within the draft law which states that the government shall ensure that the teaching of the Amazigh language in all public and private schools shall be compulsory in the framework of the implementation of a gradual plan.

Some have argued however that public authorities have made considerable efforts in the field of teaching the Amazigh language with the educational curricula included in programmes to teach the national language and a national body set up representing Berber interests.

Read: The politics of being Berber

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