Accepted Paper:

Educational policy of French colonialism in Algeria and its impact on Algerian culture and society  


Youcef Hamitouche (University Algiers)

Paper long abstract:

This paper will study the impact of French colonialism on nation and state in Algeria. Any nation which wants to maintain its national identity is bound to affirm its proper culture and identity.

However, Algeria is one of the countries which face a nation and identity crisis.

Before the French colonization Arabs-speaking and Berber-speaking groups had coexisted in one integrated nation, society and culture.

The Algerian society is characterized by the common adherence of both Arabs and Berbers to Islam nation.

With the French colonization, Algeria knew the breakdown of both its nation and national identity. The French colonialism followed a policy of dismantling Algerian common nation, cultural identity and society since 1830, through spreading French education in Algeria.

Thus, the French military repressive means are not enough to dominate the country, therefore it was necessary to concentrate on cultural factor, particularly the Muslim education system, and to replace it by the French educational system, for European sellers and a few Algerians people.

There were two Approaches concerning French education system in Algeria: the first one which favours educating some Algerians people, and was led by Republicans(like Jules Ferry), with the aim of conquering Algerians brains and hearts, through public instruction and educational culture and France can assure its presence in Algeria .The second approach, refused to educate Algerians and was led by colonialists, who thought that those who will be educated in French education would turn back against France's presence in Algeria.

In addition, the French colonialism, before spreading and extending French education, had tried to remould Algerian society along the French image.

As a result, after independence, Algeria knew and faced an elite duality, as well as the split of Algerian society, and the struggle between the French speaking elite and Arabic speaking elite.

What was the basis of cultural strategy of French colonialism to undermine Algerian culture and society? What was the content of the educational program in Algeria? How symbolic violence influenced Algerian native students Through French textbooks? What were the effects of French culture on Algerian culture and society?

Panel A02
History of education in Africa [initiated by URMIS - Nice]