Literacy in North Africa, can you tell me what is going on


Algeria has been independent for 51 years and still its literacy rate is very low. So what happened. we cannot blame the low rates on old illiterate grandmas/ grandpas any more, a hold over from the 11 percent illiteracy rate from the colonial days. Every student that goes through school should be “literate” by the time they are finished and if kids are not going to school there parents should be given an opportunity to change the situation. Of course some students are taken from school to help family finances but that is unacceptable and that should be remedied as soon as possible.

The question is in North Africa, Algeria Tunisia and Morocco (Libya looks to be a bit okay) is that how do you define literacy. Students in elementary schools(Let’s assume the most basic and widespread institution) have to “read” in Arabic and in French. In Arabic you have signs that show the vowels on top or bellow the consonant letters, and usually in more advanced texts/city signage) they remove the signs. So my question is how does someone with an elementary school education cope with reading in everyday life, does he spend 5 minutes on one sentence.

In review I believe that

The older generation should be taught at home or in specialized classes in order to teach them how to read and write. I think that they should be taught for the sake of honor.

At “risk” youth should be put aside one on one in order to test them and to try to figure out what level they are at and whether they should catch up to the class.

Parent should be responsible and punished if there children “skip” classes.

literacy rates in algeria is at around 70% men about 80% and women at 60%

any comments or questions

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  1. What concerns me is that with the exception of Afghanistan, all the countries with a literacy rate of below 50% happen to be in Africa. And even then Afghanistan’s problem can be attributed to not educating women, a problem which is currently being tackled (albeit rather slowly)

  2. that is true

    • Hafid
    • March 16th, 2014

    I think that the problem of literacy in Algeria is largelly related to mother tongue status. Reading is first of all a pleasure. So, I can’t imagine reading could be a pleasure when done in a foreign language (Arabic, French) instead of Darija and Tamazight. In this case, instead of getting pleasure, we stumble upon the meaning of words.

    As a first experience, it is surely frustrating.

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