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Algeria: 400,000 Children drop out of school annually

Primary school pupils in Algeria [Magharebia/Flickr]
Primary school pupils in Algeria [Magharebia/Flickr]

On Monday, the Algerian League for the Defence of Human Rights said that 400,000 children drop out of educational institutions in the country every year. Dropouts occur for several reasons, despite the huge sums of money the state has allocated to this sector.

In a statement, to mark the national Day of Knowledge on 16 April – on which Algerians commemorate the death of the Head of Association of Algerian Muslim Ulema, Sheikh Abdelhamid Ben Badis – stated, “official statistics indicate that 400,000 children drop out of school annually, and only 250,000 go on to professional training (training in crafts).”

The report added that “school dropouts are especially high in the countryside because of the remoteness of schools and high poverty rates … We have also noted that in many regions, the classrooms are not equipped with electricity, water or heating, or lack toilets and School medical healthcare.”

There are 8.5 million students in the three stages of education in Algeria (primary, intermediate and secondary), according to the latest statistics for the current academic year. The school dropout rate is 4.7 per cent.

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The human rights organisation pointed out that there are other reasons for school dropouts, such as “the problem of overcrowdedness in classrooms, as the maximum number of students within one classroom reaches about 48 students.”

According to the organisation, school dropout is the most serious problem in the country’s educational system.

The report went on: the education sector is facing a crisis despite the huge funds the state has allocated to this sector, with a budget of 7 billion dollars annually.

The report added that the evidence is in the latest report which was issued by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in 2017 which ranked Algeria at the 119th position out of 140 Arab and foreign countries in terms of the quality of education.

The human rights organisation called on the Ministry of Education to open the door for all parties to contribute to reforming the educational system in the country by “reviewing the goals, objectives, means, programs, curricula and human resources”.

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