Expats will have to think carefully about their children's education options in Algeria. It is unlikely expats will send their children to a local Algerian school unless they're of Algerian or Arabic heritage, or are at least 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 the ages of six and 15 in Algeria, but enrollment 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 on 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, the majority of which can be found in the capital, Algiers. There are schools following 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. There are also a number of private schools in Algeria that offer the International Baccalaureate programme.
As is the case globally, international schools in Algeria are expensive and places may be limited. That said, the standard of education tends to be good. 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 put a policy of inclusion in place to accommodate for children with disabilities in mainstream schools. Although special-needs children are being enrolled in schools, the schools are not necessarily equipped to assist with these children's educational needs.
That said, there are specific special-needs schools available in Algeria, as well as trained professionals that can act as private tutors for these children.
Tutoring in Algeria
There are a number of 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 are able to come to expat's homes, teach in their personal studios or online.
Tutors are useful for helping children adapt to new school curricula, or a new language of instruction. This may therefore be helpful to children attending Algerian public schools, or even International schools that are following a different curriculum to their previous school. Children struggling with particular subjects in school can also benefit from a tutor.