Expats will have to think carefully about their children's education options in Algeria. New arrivals to the country are unlikely to send their children to a local Algerian school unless their young ones have a background in Algerian or Arabic culture or language or are proficient in Arabic or French. English is only taught from middle school onwards.
Expats living in Algeria's main cities have a handful of international schools to choose from. For security and practical reasons, expats working in the oilfields or beyond Algiers or Oran are unlikely to have their families with them.
Public schools in Algeria
The Algerian government has been committed to improving the public education system, which is based on the French model. There are nine years of primary and three years of secondary education. Schooling is free and compulsory for children between six and 15 in Algeria, but enrolment can be low after primary school.
The language of instruction in public schools is Arabic, with French as the first additional language. Schools also may not function at the level that most expats would expect. For these reasons, it's rare for expat children to attend public schools in Algeria.
International schools in Algeria
There are a few international schools in Algeria, most of which can be found in the capital, Algiers. Some schools follow the American or British curricula with English-speaking programmes, while others follow the French or Arabic education systems. If possible, expats will probably want to choose a school that follows their home country's curriculum to ease their children's transition into life in Algeria. Some private schools in Algeria offer the globally recognised International Baccalaureate programme.
As is the case globally, international schools in Algeria offer excellent facilities and standards of education but are pricey, and places may be limited. Expats should plan well ahead and, if moving as part of an international relocation, negotiate school fees as part of their contract.
Special-needs schools in Algeria
The Algerian government has implemented an inclusion policy to accommodate children with special educational needs in mainstream schools. Although children with special needs are being enrolled in public schools, the institutions are not always necessarily equipped to assist with these children's educational needs.
That said, specific special-needs schools are available in Algeria, as well as trained professionals that can act as private tutors for these children.
Tutors in Algeria
There are several websites where expat parents can find private tutors for their children. Apprentus and TeacherOn are two such sites that register and advertise tutoring services in the country. These tutors can come to expats' homes or teach in their own studios or online.
Tutors are useful for helping children adapt to new school curricula or a new language of instruction. This may be helpful to children attending Algerian public schools or even international schools following a different curriculum from their previous schools. Children struggling with particular subjects in school can also benefit from a tutor.
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