In Algeria, basic education is compulsory and free for all children. According to article 53 of the 1996 Constitution (revised in 2002 and 2008), the State shall guarantee the right to compulsory and free education within the conditions established by the law and look after equal access to education and professional training.
The decree nº 76-35 Article 82 (1976) establishes that education is compulsory until students reach 14 years old. The Law nº08-04 (January 23rd 2008) that updates the decree, guarantees the right to education to all boys and girls from 6 to 16 years old. This duration can be increased of two years if needed, for students with disabilities.
The national State is responsible for funding education. The 2019 total budget for education is DZD 709.56 billion (US$5.94 billion), which represented 4.3% of GDP in 2008. The State covers almost all expenses for teaching, administrative, technical and service staff at the three levels of education (primary, middle and secondary). This includes all equipment, operating and social costs (public assistance). Local authorities (towns and wilayas) participate by building and maintaining school infrastructure, developing cultural and sporting activities and contribution to school social action. The municipalities finance all the expenses relating to the operation of primary schools. The wilayas are responsible for major repairs to middle and technical secondary education establishments.
According to an economic report of the World Bank, in 2015 the education sector in general spent DZD149.63 billion (US$1.25 billion), representing 0.86% of GDP. Meals represent the biggest transfer in the education sector with DZD66.28billion (US$552 million), representing 44.3% of the total expenditure. Grants and direct support represent 26.4% of the education sector expenditure, with DZD39.44 billion (US$ 329 million). Regarding the share of educational expenses in the education levels, the higher education represents 65% of the education expenditure, and basic education represents 28% of the sector’s expenditure, corresponding to DZD 42 billion (US$348 million).
Textbooks are given free of charge to more than 4 million pupils, including students benefiting from the education allowance, pre-school and first year primary pupils and children of staff in the sector. This operation has a budget of DZD6.5 Billion (US$54 million, or 4.3% of the education expenditure).
The Ministry of Education in coordination with the Ministry of Health, Population and Hospital Reform have established a school health program in 1994. An evaluation of the school health program released by the Ministry of Health revealed that in 1999/2000, the program examined 4.5million students, covering 58 % of the total number of enrolled students. In 2014-2015, there were 1,485 screening and health monitoring units located in educational institutions according to the Ministry of Education.
School meals (in 2014-2015) benefit 3.3 million students through 14,640 school canteens. According to the Ministry of Education, the school meals benefit approximately 80% of the total number of students. Targeting is made according to the priorities defined in Decree 65-70 of March 11, 1965: indigent households, orphans, people with disabilities, and schools where students live far from the institution. According to an OHCHR Member State report, in 2008, the Algerian State built 1,500 new canteens, and provided loans to all canteens of nearly DZD12 billion (US$100 million, or 8% of the education expenditure). Textbooks and new canteens together represent 12% of the education expenditure.
The school transportation program contributes to encouraging schooling especially for girls, and students from distant areas. It also contributes to improving educational outcomes and reducing
school dropout. In 2015 there are 5,694 buses provide transport for nearly 700,000 students.
Inclusive education also concerns educational inclusion of students with disabilities. This includes hospital education programs (classes during their stay in the hospital). In order to ensure the care of disabled children in an institutional environment, the State has developed a network of establishments (155 as of 2008). The main mission of these centers is to welcome children aged 4 to 25 with various degrees of mental retardation. According to a report on disability, the provision of technical and didactic means for sensory handicapped for Deaf and Blind schools, included the acquisition of a Braille printing press of DZD12 million (US$100,000, or 0.008% of education expenditure), 18 digital sound libraries for DZD147.26million (US$1.23 million, or 0.1% of the education expenditure), 18 cyberspaces for the blind in all of the schools for young blind people; amplification devices for all hearing impaired children of the Schools for Young Deaf.
To guarantee school attendance of students from distant areas and nomadic children, two policies have been put in place. The first one is the creation of boarding schools: there were 44 boarding schools in 2008 for 4,136 beneficiaries (boys and girls). The second one is a versatile nomadic teacher is placed at the disposal of a group of nomads.
Regarding the education in Amazigh language, it was integrated into the education system since 1995, and considered as a national language since 2003. The Ministry of National Education reports an agreement to start the process of gradually generalizing Amazigh language and culture education throughout the national territory. One class was opened in El-Khroub in September 2014.
A distance education and training program was also implemented through the National Office for Distance Education and Training (ONEFD), targeting the section of the population who have not attended normal formal schooling for various reasons. The number of learners for the middle and secondary cycles amounted to 480 thousand enrolled including more than 33 thousand learners from the prison population.
In Algeria, the main education program to provide resources to students and families is the 3,000 DA school allowance. According to the Ministry of Education, disadvantaged students receive an education allowance of DZD 3,000 (US$25), of a global envelope of DZD9 billion (US$75 million, or 6% of the education expenditure) at the beginning of the school year. Three million students in primary and secondary schools received the allowance in 2015, in order to purchase school supplies. The full grant bail is allocated to students from households that earn less than monthly net income. Students from households that earn a maximum of 3 national wages receive 50% of the scholarship. Children in foster care receive a minimum of DZD1,000 (US$8.36) per year and per child. The education allowance was created by Presidential Decree No. 01-238 of August 12, 2001 in favor of disadvantaged schoolchildren: orphans, son and daughters of terrorism victims, students with disabilities, students from low-income households with a monthly income under DZD8,000 (US$67) or unemployed guardians.
In addition, an OHCHR report from 2008 mentions that scholarships are granted to students in higher education s at the rate of DA 1,296 per student enrolled in a boarding school and DZD 648 per student benefiting from half-board. In 2008, the amount of credits reserved for these grants amounted to more than DZD 400 million (US$3.35 million, or 0.27% of the education expenditure).
The Ministry of National Education created two systems to support students with learning difficulties. These are educational remediation and adaptive education. The pedagogical remediation concerns students with light learning deficits or difficulties in one or more fundamental learning activities. Adaptation education, on the other hand, is intended for students who suffer from a deep and overall academic delay.
A World Bank report notes that scholarships also apply to higher education students from low income backgrounds. The application criteria include household income must be less than 8 times the national minimum income, and distance between the student residence and the university campus (more than 50km for men and 30 km for women). In 2015, there were 841 000 beneficiaries of higher education scholarships, and 433 000 beneficiaries of university accommodation.
Poor families with dependent children with disabilities receive social aid, as established by decree n ° 94-336 of 1994. The allowance consists of DZD1,000 / month for each disabled child, and social security coverage.