Links: DZ Blog Day on education

I discovered many Algerian blogs since I started with Patriots on Fire. I found out that many were related to IT and technology or to literature (people publishing their own poems, etc.); and that’s not what interests me most. I also found out that the Algerian bloggers were relatively young and were less acting as in one community (compared to the Moroccans for eg.) but I noticed some interaction between some individuals or small groups (there were even meetings organised in Algeria), and the Algerian digg-like (Bloginy) increased this interaction (and made me discover and keep up with more blogs).

The Algerian Blogosphere reached a new level after the good idea of one blogger, which had been adopted by many and supported by Bloginy, became a reality. This idea is for every participant to write the same day about the same topic. That way we’d have the same subject treated under different perspectives on the same day. This day is DZ Blog Day.

The first DZ Blog Day was today (January 15th) and the topic was education. I wanted to write something (even though I am not much into communities and all) but I unfortunately lacked the time. Instead, I am going to link to some of those perspectives (reading all these posts took me some time but less than writing one post, and it’s more comfortable for me). It’s also an opportunity to share the blogs’ names with Patriots on Fire‘s readers who may not necessarily know them, esp. those written in Arabic or French.

As our ministry of education is called “وزارة التربية و التعليم”, some of the bloggers chose to talk of the academic education (تعليم) while others preferred the education as in (تربية).

Let’s start with the former group.
As you probably expect, for those who know the Algerian educational system or those who’ve read my previous posts on the topic, things are quite bad.
There are those, such as Zakaria Bouzid, Salim or Seifo, who decided to describe the pupil’s (their own) life chronologically starting from primary school and ending with the university; and while doing so they listed many negative and a few positive aspects of the system. To the negative aspects and problems around the Algerian educational system, DragonBallD tries to find some explanations. One of them would be the fact the teachers do not think of their job as a mission for civilisation but just as a job which will help them feed their families. He may be right, especially that this same explanation is shared by Kada. Badrou Zeggar analyses the problems too and even comes up with a solution: a dictator! Shall we call Ezzine who is available? More seriously, Imene gives a shortlist with the causes behind our educational system’s problems. This list includes, among other things, the lack of interaction between the teachers, parents and pupils, the teaching method and the fact the pupils are no longer punished. So we know what we need to change!
Taher, through a personal experience, says that the Algerian school kills any kind of creativity and besieges the children’s gifts and abilities.
Martani decided to be fact-based while reviewing the educational system under Benbouzid’s reign. My only comment is that he reads Echourouk too much :). Nekkini is more direct in his (deserved) attacks on Benbouzid. Oussama also blames the minister for turning the schools into prisons where the pupils are tortured psychologically, but he finishes his post with an optimistic note. Radhia mentions one point which was ignored by all the blogs I read from this first group, the parents’ responsibility. Not everything is in the teachers’ or Benbouzid’s hands.
As an avid books reader, I like very much Riemann‘s topic where he tells us that we should read. Yeah it won’t kill us!
Jabyr also says that Benbouzid’s reforms are usually big failures but he notices an important point, all these reforms target the academic education (تعليم) part only and never the education part (تربية). He adds that all the teachers must stress more on “تربية”. But the teachers wouldn’t educate the pupils if they are uneducated themselves, if they do not give an importance to their role as models for their pupils and if the teacher/pupil relationship is not kept at the right level. This is Ubugnu‘s (a university and lycee teacher) point. He’s got a solution: educate the people (teachers and pupils alike) with respect to the Islamic teachings and rules, and stop imitating the West.

Which brings me to the second group.
Houda, probably still affected by her past days experience, declares the failure of parental education. She says the same thing as Ubugnu: uneducated parents cannot educate their children or, like we say in Arabic, “فاقد الشي لا يعطيه”. She stresses on the importance of respect and on the religion’s role in this task. Abdou also thinks of respect and many other moral values, but he questions the very meaning of education in many parents’ minds and the methods they use to educate their children: what’s the best balance between severity and kindness, between freedom/authority? This is the same question into which Insaf goes more thoroughly while talking of the parents/children relationship. She defines three life aspects in which she gives full control to the parents. But how could this be possible if, like written by Amine, the parents have abandoned their role and left it to the television which now educates the children?! And if they do not like television, you can always follow Riad‘s suggestion and use the e-education methods he mentions.
BentAljazair highlights the importance of education for the future and the change we may want to make (Majda says a similar thing). “اللي يزرع الريح يحصد غير غبارو” says Dahmane El Harrachi, and BentAljazair illustrates it through the 90s to present days period. She rightly says that it takes time, needs patience and it can be done at all levels, even at the bloggers’ level. One of the seeds BentAljazair talks about could be democracy, and Ali explains how this value could be “incepted” into the child in his family, in his school and then in the street (society). This would be the step forward to have a new generation which would live/breathe democracy.

Ismail Chaib uses Stephen Covey’s “whole body paradigm of integrating body, mind, heart, and spirit” to give a short answer to who/how each of these four components could be educated. He therefore rebuilds the link between “التربية” and “التعليم” and between the two groups above.

I hope I haven’t misunderstood what the different bloggers wanted to say and I apologise if it’s the case. The links to the original articles are within my text for everyone to get the original and more complete versions.

I’ll let the readers judge of the pertinence of all these posts, but I think it was a success at least by the number of bloggers who responded positively to this first day (The radio of Sidi Belabes has even mentioned the event and interviewed some of the bloggers) and who succeeded in treating the topic from different and complementary angles. We see there are many problems, the causes are not all known, and solutions are scarce. But this is normal, the situation is complex and we need to understand and agree on the causes first before thinking of the solutions.

You will find all these posts and many others (I haven’t read them all) grouped here.


20 thoughts on “Links: DZ Blog Day on education

  1. Excellent, I think it’s simply the best post of the day, it resumes very well all what has been said …

    I think this post deserves a translation in French and Arabic so all the Algerians can read it. With your permission of course, I want to do it (by mentioning patriots on fire of course), and join it to the post I’ll write as an assessment on the Bloginy DZ blog day.

    Thanks a lot

  2. Thanks for this summary, Mnarvi. I wish this site were easier to find – I feel like I’ve been searching for an English-language site with commentary on modern life in Algiers and googled for months before coming across your blog. Great work!

    • Welcome to the blog AnAmericaninAlgiers.

      Google still doesn’t want to link to this blog on the top of its search results, but big efforts lead to a greater satisfaction. 🙂

  3. It’s really great to see that the Algerian blogosphere is expanding. I am impressed to see that there are so many young algerian bloggers who have very interesting and diverse things to say about our beloved country. I am very optimistic for the future and I have great confidence in our young talents. Let us not stay behind in this new digital age, I think new information and communication technology has potential for constructing a collective conscioussness.

    Keep up the good work!

    • so many young algerian bloggers who have very interesting and diverse things to say about our beloved country

      Then Benbouzid’s system and “reforms” didn’t and couldn’t destroy everything. This is another reason to be optimistic…

  4. @lyl: Thank you for the comment.

    @Nawel: Welcome to the blog! Rana fi khidmat el mouwaten al karim…

    @BentAljazair: You reminded me of a friend who used to say “one should lie with art”, so now I could add “and cheat with elegance”. Thanks 🙂

  5. I don’t know how I managed to miss this article !
    It sums it all, thanks for the great work and constructive comments ! Seems like you’ve been doing a lot of reading.
    Thanks to you, I realised there were still plenty of bloggers I didn’t know of.

  6. Pingback: DZBlogDay… Les chiffres « Le blog de Bloginy

  7. Oh this is an awesome summary about the DZBLOGDAY! and that was a beautiful experience which we’ll wait for the next year!
    and thank’s for the links 😉

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