Baccalaureate examinations start for students across Algeria
By Hayam El Hadi for Magharebia in Algiers – 09/06/09
Examination centres across Algeria opened their doors at 8 o'clock on Sunday (June 7th) to welcome baccalaureate exam candidates, who found everything ready for them.
The first day ran smoothly.
"It all went well," said Assia, who teaches in a large high school in Algiers. "The students were able to sit for their first day's examinations under ideal conditions. Let's hope it continues that way."
Upon leaving the morning's examinations, the high school students said they were happy, and felt the examination questions reflected the year's teaching.
Minister of National Education Boubekeur Benbouzid fired the starting gun for the examinations in Algiers. He reassured the candidates, reminding them that they would have an extra half hour to think about the two topics to choose.
As happens every year, hundreds of parents came to the examination centres to accompany their children. At around eleven o'clock, their numbers swelled again, as they waited for their kids to emerge.
"I've been here for more than an hour," Houria, a worried mother whose daughter was taking her first bac exam, told Magharebia. "I'm waiting for my daughter to come out. I can't stand still. I'm finding it hard not to show how stressed I am."
Nedjma, her daughter, finally emerged, looking somewhat more relaxed. "I answered all the questions," she said. "It was doable. They were all questions we've covered this year in school. Of course, we need to wait until the end, but I'm optimistic I'll get my bac."
The education minister, speaking in Algiers, shared her optimism, saying he expected "significant results".
The examinations run until Wednesday. According to statistics supplied by the education ministry, the candidates include 263,330 school students (59.23%), of which 113,845 are boys (43.24%) and 149,485 are girls (56.76%). There are 181,184 private candidates, of whom 88,374 are girls.
The national education ministry has requisitioned 1,560 examination centres, and taken on 85,679 monitors, 23,000 markers working for 40 different centres, and 5,430 observers.
The national examinations office (ONEC), working under the supervision of the education department, has a budget of 2.1 billion dinars available for the 2009 baccalaureate examinations.
In 2008, the pass rate on the baccalaureate reached 53.19%, with 36.68% of candidates passing with distinction. The results for this year will be released officially on July 4th.
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