Sunday, June 27, 2010

Higher studies in Algeria, Stop the Brains’ massacre!!

I’ve talked about this, endless times, and will always do, as long as it’s letting my heart bleed pain. It’ll cost me too much virtual ink to write about this issue, but I’ll just spill what comes to my mind first. “Be spontaneous!”, One of life’s best mottos ;-)
During my years of higher studies, and since the day I got the baccalaureate* I’ve got a new ‘hobby’, that I can practice once per year: Watching the results of baccalaureate each year, and identify some of the top ranked laureates, then examine them how would they turn out in the university –More accurately, the place I study in, that requires high score, and it’s not something to be proud of, as you’ll read later!-. Each time I see them walking in front of me I feel sorry for this country, and for these youngsters, who, a couple of months ago, were in the television sitting beside the president and had interviews on the newspapers, talking about their dreams, about being Astronauts, prestigious nuclear scholars, etc –I wanted to be a Bus Driver in my childhood, what I failure am I!! hehe-. Afterwards reality’s punches them from the 7 sides ( the cube has 7 sides in my universe-city): 
-The hell like students’ dorms, the food quality that even cats complain about (You ask, why do I mention food at first?! Hell yea! “A hungry man is an angry man!” as the common saying goes)
- The quality of lectures and the professors- few of ‘em are excluded- is too mediocre,
- The exams: in one word “sabotage”!
Anyway, university in Algeria is like a kindergarten for adults. They all study, but a few succeed, literally! Because, they all get the diploma to be able to have a NO-JOB.
Back to the primary idea, I’ll highlight one of the aspects of the crime committed against Algerian fresh raw grey matter.
You are an excellent student in high school, a bit over the average IQ. You got a good mark in the BAC. Now, the first thing that will baffle you is: what will you pick as a studies’ field? Asking this question reveals the uncertainty led by the lack of orientation. How come, an ‘A’ straight student doesn’t know what will choose in university as a branch?!! The bitter answer:”All the roads take to nowhere!”
You picked a major, something like: Pharmacy, medicine, computer science, engineering higher schools, etc. here starts the disappointment, and you’ll start seeing life as it is and not as it’s shown on TV. The rest of the story couldn’t be narrated, but lived.

The most important thing I noticed on the Algerian educational system, is what I call the “Salmon’s Journey”* that students undergo during their years of study, from the beginning till graduation. They make their way through all the difficulties, like swimming against the stream,  many of them break down, give up and the minority makes it!
In the college where I do study for example, more than 300 pupils (amongst the top ranked pupils in the country) enter the first year but only less than 150 graduate ?! What a crime against innocence, society and the humanity. Without exaggerating, It really is! Students come full of energy, strength and mentally healthy (sometimes not :p), and end up having bellyaches, a self-hate or a will to leave this country (I can tell that 90% apply for post graduation in France and more than 60% really go there. Scary, but who gives a damn!). It’s a dramatic leak of valuable human resources that this country is strongly in need for.
Figure -1-*
And then, a jerk pops up on TV, boasting, and tells us: “we are the only country providing free education in the world!” I’ll answer him: “look rascal! You’re not paying it off from your mother’s purse!”.
Let’s take Denmark for instance:
“Government-funded education is usually free of charge and open to all.”
I won’t mention Norway, Finland, France, germany, etc. or maybe they are,all , from another world, because we are in the third! Ironically, I’m sorta starting believing in this.
Last and not least I’ll say like  Friedrich Nietzsche :
in large states, public education will always be mediocre, for the same reason that in large kitchens the cooking is usually bad.
You may get bored or think I’m pessimist, I'm not! I'm full of hope and concern, but not now.

Figure -1-*: The process of transforming bright minded youth into donkeys in the ,so called, higher education institutions in Algeria.
*For no Algerians, baccalaureate is the high school graduation exam. You must pass it to enter university, and the better your mark is, the more choices you get to enter your favorite institution.
* In late winter or early spring, the ocean-dwelling salmon migrate to return to the streams and rivers in which they were born. Oftentimes these fish return to their natal rivers in groups called runs. The journey is a dangerous trek, but they can be seen jumping upstream in some places, just to return to the exact place where they first hatched. Predators---most notably bears---oftentimes await the returning salmon and prey on them as the fish navigate jumps and shallow places.