Tomorrow Bouteflika will hold his annual ceremony to reward the best Algerian laureates of the 2010 baccalaureate exam. This gives me the opportunity to do something tough which I kept postponing. So today I write this short post to apologise to our great minister of education, Mr. Benbouzid, for accusing him of being not only useless but also a danger which ruined our education system.
Let’s consider the baccalaureate results: from around 19% in 1995 (it was then not really his fault as he was the minister of higher education, and Djebbar was the minister of education), he took this rate to above 61% this year (the success rate was 47% last year and 55% in 2008). How stupid I was when I regretted seeing his name again in the government after the last reshuffle. Now I acknowledge our successive presidents’ great wisdom when they had always kept him in charge. They detected all the wonderful things he could do and they knew he only needed time. So now I fully support them and want to see him in charge till he dies. I am convinced it’s important to give him a lifelong position, and I would have called to elect him as our president if it were not for the loss our education system would suffer.
And the blind ones among you (I know what it is as I was blind myself) will say he only increased the quantity but the quality remained the same if it hasn’t degraded. But I am sorry to disappoint you. In 1995 (a special year to me), only 20 received the “very good” honours. Later on, this number grew to a few tens to reach no less than 5172 this year (added to the 49 “excellent” ones). I even wonder how Bouteflika would do to receive all these people. El Mouradia Palace wouldn’t be big enough, and the kissing-lover president wouldn’t keep up the pace.
So my friends, you see that it is quality and quantity altogether. The man had a long-term vision which the likes of us couldn’t grasp. I kept complaining of the way he copied any and every reform France implemented on their education system, without considering the differences between the two countries and in their material means. Now I admit he was right, a hundred times right, and in a few years he’ll realise success rates as high as the French 97%.
One last point I must mention: he achieved these results despite all the problems caused by the stupid teachers and their strikes. Or may be it is thanks to these strikes movements. I mean this year has a record result, and many pupils skipped weeks of courses, so perhaps the pupils should skip all the courses and we’ll reach the perfect 100% success rate!
But there are still problems, even Benbouzid can’t deny them. It’s just that I blamed them on him because I was jealous of the 16 years he spent so far in his position. Today I can see clear and admit the truth. All the problems are caused by the minister of higher education, Mr. Haraoubia. The fact a big number of new university students fail during their first year has nothing to do with a supposedly light preparation during their secondary school. It’s all due to the bad university teachers. And when many students decide to increase the brain-drain and go study abroad (as wished by the top 1 baccalaureate laureate) and fail, it has nothing to do with their secondary school background. When most of these new university students are unable to write or read properly in any language, again it is Haraoubia’s fault. When most of these new generation students read and believe everything Echourouk says, it’s their own fault, because Benbouzid’s school has taught them to think and analyse.
So dear Mr. Benbouzid, Mea culpa.