The world organization “Education First” asserted in its 2018 report that Tunisian high school students have a poor command of the English language. Tunisia is ranked 68th globally out of 88 countries and 7th on the African continent out of a total of 9 participating countries.
According to the report of Education First, the index of English language proficiency by students obtained by Tunisia is 47.85%. In 2016, Tunisia was ranked 52nd out of a total of 72 countries and in 2017 it was ranked 56th out of a total of 80 participating countries.
The report reveals that Sweden was ranked first, followed by Holland and Singapore.
Compared to the African countries, Tunisia is ahead of Algeria which ranked 81 and Libya in the last position but ranks far behind Egypt and Ethiopia who occupy respectively the 62nd and 54th ranks.
The report indicates that this classification is due to the fact that North Africa is different from the rest of the continent in many ways, including its very poor command of English. The North African adults speak English at levels similar to those in the Middle East.
However, multilingualism is common in North Africa, and Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia have complex linguistic landscapes, with local dialects of Arabic, Berber, English, and modern standard Arabic, which plays different roles in private life, the education system and the public sphere.
English is relatively new in this mix, but it is increasingly appreciated, especially for its neutrality and commercial potential.
This new ranking from the world organization EDUCATION FIRST may undermine our educational system and the tremendous efforts exerted by the system deemed to be key of all social and economic achievements by Tunisia over decades which is the results of the perseverance of the last generations of the educational system pioneers.
So, this Data should be a motivation for us to pay more attention to this key language and endeavour for ending this imbalance in our education that caused the loss of thousands of jobs abroad mainly in the Gulf region.
In this same context, the “Teaching for Success, Tunisia” project was launched at the initiative of the Tunisian government and the UK government in collaboration with the British embassy in Tunis through an agreement signed in Tunis.
The project aimed to further boost efficiency into the language teachers’ training.
The three-year project includes special technological devices to provide for the new trainees, a new mechanism to teach language for students.
The “Teaching for Success, Tunisia” project will start with the training of a specific group in the regions, according to the report of the minister of education noting that all the possibilities will be provided to start teaching the English language in Grade four as of the school year 2019/2020.
We are a society betting on education… a matter that we must not ignore.
TunisianMonitorOnline (Ben Rhouma Chedly)