Algerian baccalaureate results show slight decline
By Hayam El Hadi for Magharebia in Algiers – 10/07/09
Algeria released results of the baccalaureate examinations online Thursday (June 9th). Early estimates give a pass rate of slightly over 45%, a slight drop compared with 2008.
Education Minister Boubekeur Benbouzid will not officially announce the test results until Saturday, but a ministry of education official who spoke anonymously to Magharebia offered some details: of the more than 45,000 students who sat the examinations in June, more girls than boys got their baccalaureate.
It was the same last year.
The wilaya of Tizi Ouzou topped the table with a 59% pass rate, the official added. Tipaza came second with 54%, followed by Mascara with 51%. The towns of Laghouat and Djelfa are at the bottom of the list. As for subject areas, foreign languages saw a pass rate of more than 77%, trailed by experimental sciences, which scored 43.32%, and finally literature and philosophy, with just 33.7%.
High school students across Algeria gathered in cybercafés to wait for the national office for competitive examinations to post the results on the internet at midnight.
There were so many visits to the website (www.onec.dz) that it became overloaded.
Despite the late hour, mothers shouted for joy on seeing their children gain the key to a university education.
Around the cybercafés that stayed open all night, the successful candidates could not conceal their delight.
"I'm happy – so, so happy," said Yasmine, who sat the examination for literature and philosophy and passed with an average mark of more than 12 out of 20.
"This is the crowning moment of my whole school life. All my hard work's been rewarded. I'm so happy and proud now, and it's all been worth it. The sleepless nights, the stress of the exams and the waiting, it's already in the past and I'm going to enjoy my holidays and my success, thinking about what I'm going to be studying."
Her father, who went with her to the cybercafé, was on the verge of tears. "It's a great day for me. I'm both proud and happy. Every day I prayed Yasmine would pass. She's always worked hard at school, but the bac.... It's a difficult exam, and many good pupils fail. It's a great relief. Her mother's going to organise a big party. When I phoned her, she was shouting for joy. She's just as delighted as I am."
The joy of those who passed could only be matched by the disappointment of students who failed to get their baccalaureate.
In a cybercafé in Belfort, a working class district in the east of Algiers, tears of relief mingled with tears of sadness.
Wahid, who had taken the examination for the second time, could not hide his disappointment. "I don't understand what went wrong. I'd worked so hard. But my results aren't good enough. I'm really discouraged at the moment. I don't know how I'm going to break the news to my parents. It'll make my mother ill. She had such hopes," he lamented.
Wahid is one of the more than 55 per cent of students who failed. The ministry of education was counting on a pass rate of 55% this year. These predictions have not been achieved.
Subscribe to our newsletter and get Magharebia's latest articles delivered to your inbox.