Since independence, literacy has increased massively; 70% can now read and write. The enforcement of compulsory schooling for boys and girls must be seen as one of the achievements of independence. At least in the cities, compulsory schooling seems to be generally enforced and accepted (in the morning the streets are full of children on their way to school). Algeria currently spends 4.5% of its budget on education (Tunisia: 7.1%).
However, a reduction in quality in favor of quantity is noted. This appears plausible in view of the massive expansion of schooling since independence and in view of the strong population growth. In the 1960’s, teaching staff were also “imported” from Egypt, who – often members of the Muslim Brotherhood – were “disposed of” and sent to Algeria as an unwelcome Islamist potential. This happened in the course of the Arabization of society, an undertaking that was understandable after decolonization, but which ultimately led to the fact that often neither the knowledge and command of the French nor the Arabic language is guaranteed and the danger of a “double illiteracy”
Arabic is spoken, written and taught in primary school. In higher education, however, it is necessary to master French in addition to Arabic, since the development of the natural and human sciences (provided they were not influenced by Arabic knowledge and Arabic scholars) in modern times has largely bypassed Arabic and the majority of the terms and Terms first have to be translated into Arabic or complicated to paraphrase.
According to militarynous, the Algerian education system is strongly based on the French model, ie, in contrast to the German model, formal over vocational education takes precedence. If successful, the school child must be taken to the Abitur (baccalaureat, bac) and then sent to university (bac +). This system has produced a large number of high school and college graduates who can no longer be offered a proper place in the development of society. This applies even more to the low-skilled without a formal educational qualification.
The qualifications conveyed in the system of formal education are in little demand on the labor market. A reform of the education system is therefore necessary with the aim of better quality in the sense of more practical professional relevance, be it through improvements in formal education (e.g. universities of applied sciences) or through the upgrading of vocational training. The massive increase in unemployment among young professionals since the structural adjustments under pressure from the IMF in the mid-1990’s also brought with it a crisis of social values, since there seems to be no perspective with or without formal school leaving certificates.
Health and welfare
Medical care in Algeria has been free and guaranteed by the state since the Boumedienne era. In principle, nothing has changed in that regard. Financing is provided through social security contributions, which are shared between employer and employee (the greater part, currently 12.5%, is paid by the employer, much less 1.5% of the employees) and state grants from the budget of the Ministry of Health. For self-employed or non-permanent employees, the contributions are based on the annual income. The official statistics indicate a slow improvement in the number of medical staff and facilities available, but says little about the quality of care.
Algeria spends 7.21% of its GDP (2014) on health care (Germany: 11.3%). The supply of standard drugs (painkillers, antibiotics, cardiovascular drugs), at least in the cities, is guaranteed by the pharmacies. However, special surgical interventions that go beyond basic care are only carried out after a long waiting period. Very wealthy families, like the President himself, like to be treated in France. There is no infrastructure for emergencies, e.g. emergency calls (except for traffic accidents); it is up to those affected to organize help.
In addition, there is now a system of expensive private polyclinics in the cities (e.g. the Clinique El Azar), the equipment of which is significantly better than the public ones.
Pension and retirement benefits
The pension is regulated by a state pension insurance and in many cases represents a basic security. In many cases, the recipients of state pensions still have a sideline job to supplement their pension. The retirement age is 60 years, or you only need 32 years of contributions – or less if you reach a certain age threshold. The pension contribution rate is currently 17.75% (employer contribution: 11%, employees: 6.75), compared to 18.7% – overall – currently in Germany.
Public spending on pensions is 3.2% of the state budget (Tunisia: 4.3%). Since January 2012 the minimum pension has been 15,000 dinars (approx. 140 euros), also for non-contributors (“non-salarieés”). In May 2013 and again in 2014 there was another increase of approx. 12%. In 2015, pensions were only increased by 5% due to the reduced budgetary leeway, which is likely to have reduced the purchasing power of pension recipients overall in view of the rise in food imports. In 2016, however, pensions only increased by 2.5%.