Are there any kindergartens in Tunisia?
There are only a few kindergartens in Tunisia that look after preschool children. This is also down to the families, because many women stay at home and look after the children. When they are working, aunts, grandmothers, cousins or other female family members often take on the task of looking after the very young. However, there are some private institutions, which mostly serve to look after the children of foreign workers in Tunisia.
School in Tunisia
In Tunisia, children wear school uniforms. Almost all children go to school, but that does not mean that all of these children also finish school, many drop out of school as primary school children because they have to work (see child labor). But the school education in Tunisia is quite good compared to other African countries and many people – compared to their neighboring countries – can write and read in Tunisia.
The primary school, which can be compared to our primary school lasts six years in Tunisia, a country located in Middle East according to travelationary. There is no separation here as in some federal states in our secondary school, secondary school or grammar school, ultimately they are all community schools.
At the end of the 9th grade there is a final exam and anyone who has passed this exam has something like a secondary school certificate in their pocket. Then you can continue to go to school up to the 13th grade. The Tunisian Abitur is not easy and the children have to learn a lot to get good grades.
Unemployed after school
While the young people in Tunisia are not that badly educated, many older people in Tunisia cannot read and write. Again, there are big differences between town and country.
A big problem in Tunisia, however, is that the well-educated Tunisian children can not find work when they are young. This also applies to people who have studied at a university and thus have a fairly high level of education. Incidentally, more than half of the students at the country’s universities are girls.
The children follow the lessons in Arabic. The second foreign language is? Right, French! For a long time the French ruled Tunisia as a colony. Incidentally, German is offered as a third foreign language of choice in Tunisia – after French and English. However, the children can also choose whether they want to learn Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Turkish or German. These languages are taught in many schools. Almost 40,000 Tunisian students learn German in school. German is also offered as a subject at some Tunisian universities.
Did things improve after the revolution?
Since the 2011 revolution (see History & Politics) the absenteeism rate of children in school has increased and many young people are dissatisfied with the education system. In 2012, 30 percent of students dropped out more than in previous years. The system has deteriorated and should be improved. There are no up-to-date textbooks and private schools are simply too expensive for most Tunisians.
The youth unemployment rate in Tunisia is very high and immediately follows Egypt. Almost a third of all young people in Tunisia are unemployed. As a result, many young people are disappointed and frustrated because they cannot find work despite having a good education.
Child labor in Tunisia
There are children in Tunisia who have to work. You will often see children selling flowers in Tunisian markets. It is not uncommon for little boys and girls to work as shoe cleaners or sit as beggars on the side of the road. Although the children should actually go to school, they are on the road as workers and contribute to the livelihood of their family.
Sometimes the children no longer have a family to look after them, which is also not so rare in Tunisia. The Tunisian revolution in 2011 (see History & Politics) contributed to these conditions. Because while it overthrew a dictator on the one hand and brought democracy to the country, this new freedom also plunged many people into poverty.
Children in Tunisia are officially protected and are not allowed to work until the age of 16 and also have to go to school. But the reality is often different. However, many aid organizations such as UNICEF are committed to improving conditions for the children.
In Tunisia there are many orphans who grow up without parents. You often have to take care of yourself. So it is not that rare that the older siblings somehow feed the younger ones or that the youngest have to contribute to the family’s livelihood. There are children who work on the street or as prostitutes. They sell their bodies for money.
But in comparison with other African countries, the numbers are not nearly as high. However, that does not mean that everything is okay. There is still a lot for the children to do here too.