La République Algérienne Démocratique et Populaire (The Peoples' Democratic Republic of Algeria) is located on the northern coast of Africa and is bordered by Morocco, Libya, Tunisia, Niger, Mali, Mauritania, and the Mediterranean
Sea. It is the second-largest country in Africa in terms of area following Sudan. estimated The population is 33,769,669, 99% of which are Berbers. The literacy rate is 69.9%. The official languages are (Standard) Arabic and the Berber dialect Tamazight,
with French as the language of commerce. The Algerian Arabic dialect is the day-to-day language.
Berbers have inhabited the area of present day Algeria since 10,000 BC. By 1000 BC, the Carthaginians had several settlements on the Mediterranean coast. In 200 BC, the area came under control of the Romans, and then the area became a part of the Byzantine
Empire until the 8th century AD when the Arabs arrived from the East. This was the beginning of the Arabization of the Maghreb (northern Africa west of Egypt). The Berber Almoravids and Almohads tribes brought peace to the area. However, with the
collapse of the Almohads, the Maghreb was divided into the successor states of Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. In 1517, Algeria became part of the Ottoman Empire which established the current boundaries of the country. In 1839, the French invaded and
Algeria became a French colony. For most of the 1950s, Algerians fought for independence from France. Independence was granted on July 5, 1962.
The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research is Algeria's primary ministry of education, overseeing post-secondary education regulations as well as acting as the country's recognition
body. Education is compulsory and free of cost from ages 6 to 15. Arabic is the language of instruction. Please note that some schools use Tamazight, the Berber dialect, as a language of instruction.
École fondamentale (primary school) lasts 9 years beginning at age 6. Upon completion, students are awarded a Brevet ďEnseignement Fondamental.
Secondary schools offer both general and technical/vocational programs. General secondary school programs are 3 years and are offered at lycées d'enseignement général (general education secondary schools). After completion
of the 3rd year, students sit for an examination leading to the Baccalauréat de l'Enseignement Secondaire.
Secondary Education, Vocational/Technical
Vocational/technical secondary school programs are 3 years and are offered at lycées d'enseignment technique (technical education secondary schools). After completion of the 3rd year, students sit for an examination leading to the Baccalauréat Technique.
Post-secondary education is offered at universities, university centers, national institutes, and national schools.
First Cycle, Academic
All first-level post-secondary university programs require a baccalauréat for admission. First-level technical university programs are 3 years and upon successful completion, students are awarded a Diplôme d'Études Universitaires Appliquées (DEUA).
The DEUA does not lead to further study. First-level academic university programs are 4, 5 or 6 years. Four-year programs lead to the Licence ii,
five-year engineering programs lead to the Diplôme d'Ingénieur, and six-year programs in the sciences lead to the
Diplôme d'Études Supérieures (DES).
First Cycle, Technical/Vocational
Post-secondary technical/vocational programs are offered at instituts nationals (national institutes) and do not require a baccalauréat for admission. They are 2.5 years and, upon successful completion, students are awarded a Diplôme de Technicien Supérieur.
Graduate programs are at least 4 semesters and require a licence, Diplôme d'Ingénieur, or a Diplôme d'Études Supérieures (DES) for admission. Upon successful defense of a thesis, students are awarded
Doctoral programs are at least 3 years, and, upon successful defense of a dissertation, students are awarded a Doctorat/Doctorate d'Etat.
Algeria will soon be implementing a licence-master-doctorat system in its universities. Licence programs will be 3 years following a baccalauréat. Master programs will be 2 years following a licence. Doctorat programs will be 3 years following a master.
Primary school and secondary school teachers are trained at écoles normales supérieures (teacher training schools) which require a baccalauréat for admission. Primary school teacher training is 3-4 years. Three-year
programs lead to the Diplôme de Maître ďEnseignement Fondamental. Four-year programs lead
to the Diplôme de Professeur de l'Enseignement Fondamental. Secondary school teacher training
programs are 5 years and lead to the Diplôme de Professeur de l'Enseignement Secondaire.