A story of an Algerian teacher

The Algerian teachers’ unions decided to put an end to their strike after the government responded positively to most of their demands. The conflict between the teachers (who were many to follow the unions call) and Benbouzid’s ministry restarts every now and again (latest episode was last November), and the standoff is something the ministry and the teachers unions are used to.
Benbouzid, as usual, declared the strike illegal, but this time, he threatened to fire any teacher who wouldn’t work on March 7th, and to replace them by the many unemployed graduates.

I have no doubt about the havoc Benbouzid caused inside the educational system, and I think many of the teachers’ demands are relevant. But I have to say that I cannot fully sympathize with them as I feel they’re not doing their job properly, and they’re part of the problem as much as they should be part of the solution.

So I decided to write a few lines where I’d list some of the teachers’ practices which make me hesitate to support them, and also some of the educational system problems. I am surprised that I wrote such a lengthy text, but let’s say this will be my longest post ever and I should be forgiven. The story is of course imaginary but every point I mentioned is based on an actual case or person I went across.

I am a teacher.

I wasn’t particularly smart when I was a student. I guess I was average, I did my homework and my marks were just fine. I passed the baccalaureate on my first attempt, but I was hardly above the pass mark. Therefore I couldn’t get my first choice in university. I wanted to be an architect but the INI’s computer calculations forced me to study languages, Arabic in particular. The four university years went smoothly. I attended half of the courses and relied on a committed classmate for the graduation project. I can’t remember the topic we (he) chose.
The graduation ceremony was awesome. The questions during the viva were easy, and our supervisor was the head of the institute, so the jury members didn’t want to be tough on us (he was powerful enough to crush their careers had they upset him). But the awesomeness feeling came rather from the sweets we ate and the music and fun we had after the exam was over.

Holding an Arabic language bachelor in the early 90s, I could hardly find a job in the industry (was there any industry at all?). So all I could rely on was the ministry of education and a teaching position somewhere in my home town. I never thought I’d become a teacher but what to do!
The first issue was the military service. In Algeria a man cannot be hired if he hasn’t wasted 18 years (it is 18 months but I imagine they feel like years) of his life in the army. I of course was so against going there. Not only I would have been appointed as the chauffeur of some ignorant officer (if not his wife’s), but I would have risked my life as the conscripts were the terrorists’ preferred targets. Thank God, my mother’s uncle was a colonel and he managed to get me the yellow card.

So I was ready to start my job quest. I knew exactly how things worked and I decided to put every chance on my side. I first applied for a teaching position in the academy. They told me they had no open positions (a big fat lie), and that many men and women were before me in the waiting list, which was true. But I didn’t care; my application was but a simple formality. I contacted my uncle who was the head of a school and asked him to help me. Luckily, one teacher in his school was on a maternity leave and he hadn’t found a replacement yet. Three days later I was at the academy again, but this time to take my appointment letter. I was so happy when I received it from the same guy who had told me there were no jobs openings. On my way-out I met my former classmate with an appointment letter in his hand. When I asked, he told me that he knew someone in the academy.

So I taught the pregnant woman’s students until she came back. My uncle called a friend of his who owed him one and managed to find me another position in another school. This system lasted for four years. In the mean time, I registered for the examination exams. I forgot to say that, the very year of my graduation, Benbouzid decided that all bachelor holders would need an extra exam before being granted a permanent contract. The exam was in two parts: written and oral. I almost fainted the first year when I saw around 1000 men and women taking the exam with me for 20 Arabic teacher positions. That year I failed the written part. The second year I reached the oral examination stage, we were only 50 and there were 5 positions. The jury interrogated me about the war in Iraq , what I thought of Islamism, and also if I was married. I guess my answers were wrong since I failed again. The same thing happened the next year, and the fourth year as well. But that year, I passed! I can’t tell how to be honest, but there’s a theory about it. The oral exam takes place in a different wilaya every year (it was Batna, then Skikda, then Jijel then my town). Apparently, the “system” cannot easily cheat during the written exam, but they can do all they wanted during the oral part. And they usually favoured candidates from their own wilayas, and sometimes they favoured candidates in difficult situations: long-term unemployment, being a woman, having children, etc. And I passed on the fourth year only because the exam took place in my city and the jury defended me, wlid lebled.

I was so happy. I finally got a permanent job and would finally be paid. Yes, the academy said that they had no budget for the replacement teachers (what I did in the past four years) so they couldn’t pay us! I actually was paid regularly during the first year but then the following three years I received nothing. I filed many complaints but all I was told was to wait till rahmet Rabbi comes (I was finally paid two years ago, which confirms the Algerian saying “essaber ynal”). So I said I was happy, but not totally (Algerians always complain). I wanted to change school, but my uncle had retired. So I tried to do it the right way by entering a request at the academy. The guy there told me it would be difficult esp. that I was a beginner, but he added that he could help if he gets his tchipa. I was infuriated and I asked to see his superior. When I told him the story, in presence of the corrupt guy, the superior laughed and said he wanted his share too. I didn’t think twice, I gave them 10kDZD. I knew it was wrong but I was only trying to get back my right and haven’t wronged anyone. Plus, I read somewhere a fatwa saying it was ok so long as it couldn’t be avoided and nobody’s wronged. So I moved to a nice school at 5 minutes walk from my home.
I wanted to do my job properly. I gave my students a lot of my time and white hair quickly invaded my head. It took me a few hours per night to prepare the lessons, and I wrote down my comments and improvement ideas, etc. I tried to meet the students’ parents but not everyone came. I guess they didn’t really care.

I was busy all the time but I didn’t forget about my salary. I thought it was too low for the work volume I had, and also for the continuously toughening living conditions. So I pushed the school’s head to convince the inspector to come and visit me so I become mourassam (I don’t know how to say it in English, but hey I am an Arabic teacher). I was informed of the visit day so, following my colleagues advice, I started my preparations. I basically taught the same lesson three times to all my classes and made sure everyone learned their “role”. On the visit day, I even decided to select the best students in each class and artificially built a new one which I would teach in presence of the inspector. The idea was brilliant, wasn’t it? The visit went well, I became mourassam and my salary made a jump forward.

Then routine started. Most of my students were clueless. It was like they never went to school before meeting me. They couldn’t tell which is فاعل” and which is “مفعول به“. Speaking in academic Arabic was impossible as they couldn’t build a simple sentence before thinking for ages. Their concentration was at the lowest possible level and so was their involvement. I tried once to talk to them but one replied that education was useless and he already had a “stand” in the market of Tadjenanet and that business was the future. I must admit that I wished I had a stand there too. One day a student insulted me after I scolded her. I requested her father to come. He didn’t let me talk and directly punched me in the face. I remembered when I was a pupil, our parents not only thanked our teachers for beating us but also punished us again once at home. Like many say, the world has changed and this generation is… difficult. Anyway, after that incident, I decided to work only with the students who wanted to work and completely ignored 4/5 of the class.

The good thing with Benbouzid is that he’s got a new idea (sometime more than one) every year. Ok, they are not his ideas and he takes them from French TV news programs, but el mouhim enniya as we say. One summer, he decided that we should use computers in the class. So programs changed, teaching methodologies too. We even received a group of American teachers who came to tell us how this new teaching technique works. My colleagues and I thought they should have sent us to the USA instead of them coming here. Talking of leaving Algeria , I should mention a colleague of mine who applied N times for emigration to Canada . He filled many forms and probably knows Tunis and the Canadian embassy there better than anyone. He was accepted one year so took a sabbatical year and left. After a few months though, he came back. Apparently he didn’t like it there and like he said, he had to work seriously! Now, after two years, he’s back to his forms and travels to Tunis. He keeps saying, hadhi mashi blad wel3ibad mashi 3ibad and that he deserves to live abroad. But back to the new program. The Americans left, and Bouteflika came to visit us and our new computers room. It was an empty room which they painted before the president’s visit and in which they brought many computers they found in some other state offices. He was so happy and proud. The computers were taken back a few minutes after he had left, and we’re now struggling to teach an informatics-based program without computers. I stopped updating my teacher’s notes and following the program.

Money is an important topic in the teachers’ room. We all think that we deserve higher wages. These last years, tuitions became the norm and most teachers use them as a way to make more money. My colleagues advised me to try it. It of course meant more time spent working but they said I would rest while “working” in the school. One even gave me a widely used technique to encourage, or actually force, my students to register in my private classes. I would first explain things better when they pay me, and explain less when the state pays me. I would, for the exams, select the exercises we would have solved in the private classes. This means only my private students would get good marks. A third technique would be for me to finish off the program in the private classes, and struggle to teach its half at school. My colleagues also asked me to target first some specific students, the children of government officials (chef daira, mayor, police, etc.) and the entrepreneurs. I confess that I tested these methods and they worked well. Now I am a famous private teacher and I have a candidates’ waiting list. I could even buy a car and it’s not a Maruti.

Now thinking about all this, I believe even more in the Algerian saying “elli qra qra bekri”.

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25 thoughts on “A story of an Algerian teacher

  1. “…………But I have to say that I cannot fully sympathize with them as I feel they’re not doing their job properly, and they’re part of the problem as much as they should be part of the solution………”.
    why dont you sympathize with them….because of the story of this arabic teacher personally I sympathize more after reading the story of the this teacher which depicts not only teachers suffering but the real and miserable life and the rotten system of the algerian administration and thus life.

    • Thank you lyl for your comment.
      The teacher in my story is relatively nice and calls for sympathy/empathy. I actually wanted to show some of the issues inside the system, but also the fact that many (most?) teachers simply resigned from their job. They no longer do it properly and don’t care any more of their students. They actually abandoned them.
      I know there are explanations and justifications for this; and teachers are Algerian people who act like any other Algerians. But their role in the society is much more important so I’d expected them to act accordingly. You’d ask why I would expect them to be better, but then why would I sympathize with them given that I feel little sympathy for the other Algerian workers who do their tasks in the worst possible manners?

      • “but also the fact that many (most?) teachers simply resigned from their job”, if you said that 30 percent resigned, we I would accept that it’s because they lack competence and consciousness and the factors and ………but here u mentioned the word “most of them”, this is a dangerous matter, it means they must be frighted to resign or even threatened to death in order ro abondon ……………

  2. I am your pupil. Well, I used to be, from the 4/5 of the classroom whom you never bothered with.

    You used to boast that you were the only Arabic teacher in Algeria who speaks English and you told us this same exact story of your life in countless episodes during lesson time. More than half of each lesson was dedicated to showing off your English vocabulary. The other half was filled with your constant moaning and complaining. I felt that your module was useless, all you seemed to enjoy doing was string sentences together in English while puffing on a stinking cigarette and telling us off for not being able to string a sentence together in Arabic. You were useless too because of the way you complained all the time about your white hair, how tough life is and how you never wanted to become a teacher. You seemed so pathetic, and the worst was the way you dressed, your blouse was filthy and there was always a button or two missing.

    I felt we were both wasting our time. I never understood why I had to endure being taught by the likes of you, when I learnt nothing, you had nothing to teach me. Having to take private lessons on top of that was too much. When my Dad asked me why my performance was still mediocre, despite the huge sums of money he was paying you and the other teachers in private lessons, I said it’s because you didn’t bother explaining and only wanted to catch up on the stuff you didn’t do at school. I told my Dad that his money was going into financing your new flashy car and villa. How great my joy was when my Dad punched you in the face!!!

    You kept asking for recognition and respect, but these things have to be earned. Unlike money which can come easily enough through private tuition, recognition and respect do not come easily. I had more respect for my classmate who said he had a stand in Tejnent, because he was true to himself or appeared to be so at least. He didn’t pretend to be something he wasn’t, didn’t ask for something he didn’t earn or deserve, he didn’t speak double-speak. He was much less confusing and I could understand him better.

    But some good things came out of all this; for one I never paid attention to Arabic. I was encouraged by my parents who assured me that the future is English and French. My Dad promised me to finance my studies abroad if I pass the baccalaureate, which I managed to do with difficulty, thanks to you. I have always been confident that I am not stupid, at least not as stupid as you thought I were. I derived a diabolical satisfaction in doing all I can to confirm your stupid conception of me. I pitied those classmates of mine who received praise from you! The last I heard from them was that they went on to become teachers themselves.

    I have read about your strikes in the newspapers. I wasn’t surprised, you never cared about your pupils and you never will. No real teacher who is worthy of respect would compromise the future of their pupils and go on a strike for an entire year. I don’t think more money will make better teachers out of you lot. The problem is more radical; you were never meant to become teachers in the first place. You are responsible for the generations and generations of young people who grew up to be completely disillusioned, who attach no value whatsoever to education and knowledge. I hope your children will be as useless as you and if there’s any justice, even more useless than you, as useless as the pupils you decided never to bother with. I wonder if you’d bother with them, simply because they’re your kids though?

    I have come back from abroad a few months ago. I saw you in a local café the other day. Your hair has fallen out and you look even less of a teacher than you ever did. When I saw you, I remembered the Arabic saying: “Faqid eshay la yo3tih”. This is the only Arabic saying I have learnt from your lessons. I have memorized it for years and years, without knowing why, it was the only thing you ever pronounced which did not feel out of place. Now I realize that it was because you were talking about yourself, even though you did not realize it and I doubt that you ever will.

    • Awesome comment algerianna, well done! This is the bestest sequel to my story.
      And the dialogue could go on and on, for there are so many things to talk about. I remember when my teachers tried to convince my female classmates to put on the hidjab, when others tried to make the hidjabists take it off. Same thing with politics…
      Like I said in my previous comment, the problem is it’s a global issue in Algeria. Nobody does their job properly (itqan el 3amal is fi khabar kan) and people think of their rights before doing their duties.
      Add that every thing’s business now, even fields such as education and health (which is why I sympathize even less with the Algerian medics who see their patients as cash cows, and aren’t even good enough to treat them).

      • Yes MnarviDZ, quite right! The problem has been left unattended for too long, like everything else in Algeria. Now it has grown too big and all-encompassing to be solved easily if ever.

        Like you said, there could have been hope if education and health sectors had been spared, but they weren’t. But how do you make good teachers?

        And what choice did Algeria have when it needed teachers, enough to cover its educational needs and there were not enough? Wasn’t it the only way not to fuss too much about quality and concentrate on quantity?

        Had the problem originated there, right at the beginning? Why couldn’t they seek both quantity and quality? Even if that meant bringing French-speaking teachers ….

      • “I remember when my teachers tried to convince my female classmates to put on the hidjab, when others tried to make the hidjabists take it off. Same thing with politics…” , why these girlsdo not tell their parents about that, where is teachers-parents association’s role in this case, believe me in some ereas, member of this association don’t t even come to assist to their meetings, also, believe me there are parents who do not know is which grades are their children……………

    • thank you algeriana for your story and Im sorry about what you feel and what you have experience with this teacher…….
      I neither blame this teacher too if we can call it a teacher, I insist to blame the system/ the country/ the the ministry of education which let such people play with the future of children. because these teacher doent only harm their students but also their colleagues..you know why? a competent teacher , with the effort he makes to fulfill his job, at the end of the month, he receive the same salary like the one who doent work, it’s not fair, he begins to discourage until he ends up like his collegue…….. No supervsion by inspectors, no motivations by extra money for the competent, you work or u dont work it’s the same thing, you’r paid the same….. and I think consciousness is not sufficient to be a good teacher, we dont build societies with consciousness but with law and executing it. its doenst mean that all the teachers in the USA are extra conscious because they fulfill their mission, because they’ supervised and paid upon their efforts. according to the events concerning the last , why don’t I support teachers because of some those who dont do their job correctly?? ………in their petition they asked too for ” prime de competence”, they asked to reduce the number od students in the class that reach in some regions untill 50 students in a classroom in addition to the other rights

  3. Indeed it’s every body’s responsibility, I remember of some published book entitled: ‘Il faux tout un village pour éduquer un enfant’, the teacher in fact resembles to the battery for the car, once it moves on it doesn’t rely on it. There are many factors mainly complement the teachers effort.

    The old education system wasn’t totally bad, I know of some Algerian professors friend of mine, who begun their education by candles, as there was no electricity in the old days in most of the Algerian villages, in addition to the poverty which was widely spreading out in the country, but they have achieved, because their parents didn’t teach them the worst cynical proverb ever heard ‘who read; read in the old days’. Certainly because they didn’t forget the forgotten nightmare that education was forbidden for most of the Algerian nation during colonialism …, even though with their low education, they had achieved to liberate the country… they have done a lot with very little available to them…

    But today’s generation is undoubtedly in one side victim of the picture generated on a daily basis by internet and TV broadcasting, because the mindset is shaped on what you see and hear on a daily basis, ‘Esamaa wa elbassar’. But in the other hand they share some responsibility too; they have loads well established technological facilities to their disposition; which can possibly be exploited in the right way to build them selves, they just need to know where to go!

    The world has changed a lot, there is no doubt in that and the relationship Teacher-Pupils have worsened every where not only in Algeria, the culture of ‘Bsansia’ and the short cuts towards the world of celebrity and wealth, have dominated the mindset of the youngsters every where in the world. But only few are aware that ‘what comes quick, goes quick’ and ‘It remains in the river only its main stones’.

    Agreed that the world we live in is ruled by ‘Bsansia’, but smart bsansia of high standard and wearing ties, and for sure they are not illiterate they are rather highly educated, and know how to jump and when and where, and if they fail they know how to stand up, it always comes back to the magical key; ‘Knowledge’ = ‘Read’ the first word received by our prophet, so be it ‘Bsansi’ of an Algerian style or some thing else, at the end of the day; you are what you do, and without ‘knowledge’ you don’t go so far, you always remain naked and exposed to a sever risk. And the grey matter will end up by outweighing the fat nude wallet.

    This is only my opinion I do not specifically mean any body!

    • The old education system wasn’t totally bad, I know of some Algerian professors friend of mine, who begun their education by candles, as there was no electricity in the old days in most of the Algerian villages, in addition to the poverty which was widely spreading out in the country, but they have achieved, because their parents didn’t teach them the worst cynical proverb ever heard ‘who read; read in the old days’. Certainly because they didn’t forget the forgotten nightmare that education was forbidden for most of the Algerian nation during colonialism …, even though with their low education, they had achieved to liberate the country… they have done a lot with very little available to them…

      I agree with this Mohamed. You are right, nowadays cynicism has become the norm and the people of independent and free Algeria have never fought for any of the free things they have today. They have never had it so easy, but the tragedy is they don’t realize it. The grass always seems greener on the other side doesn’t it!!! With all the technology they have today, all the books, all the things people in older generations could only dream of, they still feel under privileged… because instead of comparing themselves with those who are worse off, they keep comparing themselves with those who are better off. Of course better off means more money and more material possessions.

      Most of the people who have made history didn’t have it easy, they struggled and worked really hard. Why are these people not role models anymore? Why are young people more attracted to football stars and actors/ actresses? What has changed? Why has the world become upside down? It is very sad because what a hundred years of colonialism and deculturation have not managed to do, satellite TV has managed to achieve in one year!!! It’s even more pathetic considering we have a great religion and a great set of values in our cultural heritage.

  4. Although I was totally opposed to the teachers’ strike, after reading your posts, and seeing that you decided to pour out your wrath on the teachers, I feel obliged to say something in defense of these poor people!

    I believe that most of the blame should be directed at our aging minister of education and his failing system.

    The education system is no different to any other sector in Algeria, swamped with unprofessional, self-loathing, underpaid teachers and administrators. The only way this system functions is when you get a head-master (director) who can rule the establishment with an iron-fist. My experience at school was more positive than that of many I know, and this is largely thanks to the head-masters of the schools I attended. These created an atmosphere where teachers feared the boss, and they had no choice but to work hard. As a result, they made more effort than their counterparts in other schools. However, sadly, I have learnt that the quality of teaching at these schools deteriorated after the respective head-masters of these schools retired.

    Having said that, doing a good job as a teacher in Algeria means delivering a countless number of lessons, dictated by a national curriculum that is taught to pupils as if it were divine revelation. This curriculum has the goal of churning out a high number of half-baked students; it crams so much information into the lesson that only able student can cope, whilst the average student is left with no choice but to give up. This education system, which encourages students to memorize and regurgitate information, has failed many generations of students; but most recently, it has produced illiterate students not fit for anything except to have a stand in tejnent.

    • Pandora, believe me it is well past the stage of looking for who to blame in all this mess!!! Personally, I had some great teachers too and when I say great I do not necessarily mean they were geniuses. For me a great teacher is above all a caring individual who is aware of his or her moral responsibility towards the pupil. Someone who is careful to be a role model, at the very least in the ethical/ moral sense.

      Education is not only the State’s responsibility, it is a whole (mandouma tarbawiya as we call it), parents contribute, the entire ‘village’ as Mohamed so aptly put it.

      BUT, every level is DIRECTLY responsible for the level below as in any hierarchy. The problem in Algeria, is that everyone takes it out on those beneath them in the hierarchy and the teachers have mostly been taking it out on the pupils. This is very grave, graver than in any other profession because education (and health) are very important sectors. I blame the teachers for not having realized the importance of their duty.

      I am probably very angry about the strike but I have always been much disappointed by the way DZ teachers have been behaving in recent years.

  5. “what a hundred years of colonialism and deculturation have not managed to do, satellite TV has managed to achieve in one year!!! ”

    I could not agree more

  6. I remember in the late 80s at university, when our teachers were claiming for pay rise and new homes…, they achieved their goals after several long strikes and negotiations with the ministry of higher education, but they achieved on our costs, many of our generation desperately left university, and most of us failed that years, while some universities declared totally ‘Annee Blanche’, some turned to be ‘bsansia’, others were engaged in the army, and the luckiest left the country with no ‘U turn’, as we used to believe.

    I am talking of 20 years ago, and the problem is still propagating up till now, in time and space, today the pupils are paying the price, as usual in any battle, there must be some winner and loser, it’s all natural but not moral, essentially where the victims are not adults as we were, they are kids who can’t cope, they are between the hammer and the anvil.

    This is not a straight forward sort of problem, it may last longer. Algeria is now timely considered as the ‘Milky Cow’, and loads Algerians from various backgrounds are thinking in the same fashion of; ‘it’s now or never’…, but we may reach the situation where the bread will be throughout but no one to eat it, if we neglect the kids.

    My temporary advice to the teachers is to take a second job to do what so ever to cope with life expenses, this is to say; in England according to recent statistics figures, 2/3 of the lower and middle class workers are exercising a second job the reach their means.

    Why not in Algeria?

  7. The only way this system functions is when you get a head-master (director) who can rule the establishment with an iron-fist.

    My school experience says otherwise. My headmasters have always been big losers, but I always thought most of my teachers were great. Except that I guess we were very few to think so, because the teachers didn’t work with everyone in the classroom.
    But your point remains valid, Algerians (and Arabs in general) lost this great thing called conscience, and they wouldn’t work if there is nobody (human) above who would watch them. Which is why you find many people say la3reb yemshiw bel qezzoul and that we deserve/need people like Saddam and co.

    Having said that, doing a good job as a teacher in Algeria means delivering a countless number of lessons, dictated by a national curriculum that is taught to pupils as if it were divine revelation.

    Like I said above, the Algerian system is a bad copy of the French one. It’s there only to select the best ones and not to educate everybody. In France it is also a failure but they have less problems than us. But now in DZ the system is not even selective. Benbouzid and his president want everyone to get to university, so we have university graduates who are unable to speak, write or work, that is when they make it to graduation.

    My temporary advice to the teachers is to take a second job to do what so ever to cope with life expenses, this is to say; in England according to recent statistics figures, 2/3 of the lower and middle class workers are exercising a second job the reach their means.

    Well the system in the UK is different, and I must say I don’t want to see it implemented in Algeria, even though I guess today a chaotic anarchy is what runs Algeria. But well most teachers already have second jobs. Sometimes it is something in commerce, but very often it is another teaching position either as self-employed teachers or as teachers in private schools. The problem is their original job now comes second (self-employed = have to work to get the money, private schools = there is control so they have to work to get the money, public schools = no control + low pays = ragda wetmangi) and they forgot about their moral responsibility as algerianna rightly mentioned.

    I finish the comment with this short story. My English teacher in lycee, an Algerian APN member’s wife, used to ask us to elope. But she kept saying “fil ittihad qouwa” (it was the only thing she knew in Arabic) meaning we should all elope at the same time and tell her beforehand so she doesn’t even come and nobody finds out. We did it once but margoulna (those bloody “internes” couldn’t leave the school). Everyone suspected her but of course only us were punished.

  8. Yes you got it Mohamed. I think moralizing is never any use because only a tiny minority would respond to it anyway. In my case, I will never sympathize with the teachers simply because I find their conduct morally wrong. That doesn’t mean I do not understand the issues they are complaining about, some of which are legitimate.

    It has to be said that in Algeria, there was a time where the majority of people who were employed by the State struggled to make ends meet. This has been the pattern in most socialist economies, not only Algeria. This has been compounded by the fact that things have been left unattended for too long; Algerian politicians only seem to respond to foreign orders from international organizations, even in interior affairs such as education (not long ago, the US demanded that the Islamic education curriculum taught in schools should not contain any mentions of Jihad or anti-Semitic references).

    It is not easy to propose solutions and maybe there are no solutions; we just have to let things take their natural course and hope for the best. But I suspect that we might need some revolutionary new thinking in education and the place of university education in society. This model has been copied directly from the mostly socialist European countries who wanted egalitarian policies across all social classes, but this has ended up pulling down standards and dumbing down what used to be the educated elite. Now everyone goes to university to learn how to write and read and most graduate without even achieving that!

  9. Hello everybody,I am a Teacher of english language ,before that I had to study five years (bac+5)in ENS.Becoming a teacher was always my dream when I was an adolescent.Now I started teaching 2 years ago ,I don’t say it is not a good experience but believe me many things must be changed.I feel that we are not given chance to improve ourselves in all fields.I work hard with my pupils ,I don’t even have time to relax or go shopping(I work 15 km far from home!!?),at the end nothing is reached,I’m just the same just like 2 years ago,may be with more stress that’s all.

    • Welcome Lynda and thanks for your reply.
      I guess the fact teaching having always been your dream makes a difference because it’s not the case of most teachers. I think it would be interesting to reflect on why “nothing is reached” despite “your hard work”.

      It’s normal to be stressed as a teacher, it comes with the package. And 15km is just fine if you ask me 🙂 Good luck!

  10. Hello MnarviDZ,thanks for this topic which concerns us all especially we as teachers and thanks a lot for your impressions.when I say nothing is reached because I am not satisfied with what I am today(my life is sumed up between class and home ,with 1 per cent of pupils who are interested in their lessons,pressure from administration which is most of time meaningless, mentalities which I hate most,no possibilities to improve ones intellectual mind and level ,no assistance and support for teachers in their daily life…etc) that’s why I am trying to prepare myself for magister test as a solution to move forward and changing this situation of routine which I cannot support.Unfortunately ,this caused lot of damages especially for my private life and I start questioning myself: if I chose another job,would I be obliged to choose between my studies and life of family?,would I have these feelings of unsatisfaction ?
    In spite of all difficulties ,one must have the will to continue his job and look for other possibilities to improve himself.
    so long.

  11. Tu ne sais même pas construire une phrase correcte. Tu as eu tout par piston et tu es ingrat en plus. Tu ne mérites pas d’être un enseignant. J’ai honte à ta place. Vive l’Algérie.

    • tu me connais même pas et tu me juges ça c’est un homme typiquement Algérien, tu sais quoi je suis a la fac maintenant voila j’étudies pour mon magister, je me suis débarrassé du lycée et de ses élèves mal élevés que les parents nous envoient pour les garder en classes.ce n’est qu’un mauvais souvenir pour moi, j’enseigne même pas en Algérie , je suis en Angleterre la ou il y a des vrai être humains en classes et des vrai personnelles qui font leurs travail, a ton avis une femme qui a réussis tout ça c’est par piston?

  12. Pingback: A story of an Algerian teacher II « Patriots on Fire

  13. Mohamed Cherif,
    I knew it wasn’t you and I guess the readers knew that too. Welcome back anyway 🙂

    Anna Smith Lyly,
    I understand you are one of the commentators above and you changed your name just like you changed your residence country? 🙂
    To be honest, I think that Mohamed (not Mohamed Cherif) was targeting the character in my original post, and it seems he didn’t understand it was a fiction. And the comment is very old…

    Mohamed (not Mohamed Cherif),
    If you’re still around. Come here and clean the mess your comment has created.

    • Dear MnarviDZ , the best answer for such comments is silence and ignorance , I think that only the persons who have no objectives in life speak in a such rude way
      yes I connected from facebook that’s why the pseudo changed 🙂

      cordially, Lynda

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