Education in Tunisia

Tunisia – education

The biggest challenge for the former strongly French-influenced education system is the fight against illiteracy, which includes approximately one third of the population.

According to a 1991 law reform, the nine-year compulsory primary school, l’enseignement de base, is divided into a 6-year and a 3-year course. After passing the final exam, approximately 66% (1996) in the youth educations, which after two years are divided into five directions specializing in resp. language, mathematics, engineering, physics and economics.

At the higher education programs that take place at five universities and a few higher education institutions, approximately 13% of a vintage (1999). Most sought after are the legal-economic studies closely followed by humanistic and Islamic.

OFFICIAL NAME: al-Jumhuriyya al-Tunisiyya


POPULATION: 10,900,000 (Source: COUNTRYaah)

AREA: 154,500 kmĀ²

OFFICIAL LANGUAGE (S): Arabic, French, few Berber languages

RELIGION: Sunni Muslims 98%, Christians 1%, others 1%

COIN: dinar




POPULATION COMPOSITION: Arabs 98%, Berbers 1%, others 1%

GDP PER residents: $ 4232 (2012)

LIFE EXPECTANCY: men 73.5 years, women 78 years (2014)




Tunisia, (after Tunis), is a Republic of North Africa. The country was a French colony 1881-1956 and continues to have strong ties with Europe and especially France. It is a member of the Arab Maghreb Union and has an association agreement with the EU. From 1987 to 2011, Zayn al-Abidin Ben-Ali held the presidency, and despite the introduction of a principally pluralistic democratic system of regular elections, it was his party that dominated the country. Ben-Ali was forced to resign after extensive protests in 2011. Tunisia is a Muslim country and known for its progressive legislation in the field of family and women.

  • Find two-letter abbreviation for each independent country and territory, such as TS which stands for Tunisia.

Tunisia – language

Official language is standard Arabic while speaking the language Tunisian Arabic. Berber is retained in nine villages, of which the six on the island Djerba. French is still widely used as a second language, while English and Italian are gaining ground.

Tunisia – religion

Islam is the state religion, and the majority of the population are Sunni Muslims who follow the Malikit law school; a minority follow the Hanafi school of law introduced by the Ottomans in the 1500’s. In addition, there is a small minority of Ibadites. Islam was an important rallying point in the struggle for independence, but since then the political leadership has distanced itself from Islamic law. From the late 1970’s, intellectuals like Rashid al-Ghannushi again began to make use of Islam in the political struggle, but Islamism has never received the same broad support as in other parts of the Arab world.

The Grand Mufti of Tunisia is appointed by the government, and a Ministry of Religious Affairs controls mosques and religious educational institutions.

Tunisia – Constitution

The Constitution of the Republic of Tunisia is from 1959 with amendments from 1988. The legislative power lies with a Chamber of Deputies with 163 members, of which 144 are elected for five years by simple majority, while the other 19 are distributed proportionally among the parties that did not get elected representatives. The President is Head of State and Commander of the Armed Forces; he is elected by direct election for five years. The president appoints the government, which is headed by a prime minister who is accountable to the president. However, the Chamber of Deputies may express distrust of the Prime Minister, leading to the resignation of the government.

Tunisia – economy

From the independence in 1956 and 30 years onwards, Tunisia had a socialist-inspired economy, which was largely based on state ownership and regulation as well as on competition protection. In 1986, however, falling oil prices and major balance of payments problems forced the government to request financial support from the International Monetary Fund. The counterclaim to Tunisia was to launch market economic reforms and pursue a stability-oriented economic policy. Since then, fiscal and monetary policy has focused on reducing the general government deficit and keeping inflation in check.low, while competition in the economy has increased, through privatizations of state-owned enterprises and liberalisations of investment law, the financial sector, capital markets and foreign trade. Since 2000, the pace of reform has slowed down due to the country’s high unemployment. The economy is quite versatile and stable with growth rates in 2003-05 of 4-5%; Unstable rainfall and assassinations have in recent years led to setbacks. The currency, the dinar, was made convertible in 1993, and in 1995 Tunisia was the first Arab country to sign an association agreement with the EU. ensures free trade in industrially processed goods between the parties over a 12-year period.

Tunisia’s most important trading partners are France, Italy and Germany, which together account for approximately 60% of foreign trade. The trade deficit is partly offset by tourist revenues and transfers from Tunisians abroad. Denmark’s exports to Tunisia in 2005 amounted to DKK 141 million. DKK, while imports from there were 32 mill. kr.

Tunisia – social conditions

In the years after Tunisia’s independence (1956), the country’s women were guaranteed the opportunity for divorce, as polygamy was banned; women were also given the right to vote in local and national elections. Changing Tunisian governments have since 1956 gradually built up an education system and a health system that also covers the more sparsely populated areas of the south and west of the country, and government employees are guaranteed pensions. The Tunisian population is very young, with approximately 70% of the country’s population is under 25 years of age; it places great demands on the continued expansion of housing, the construction of schools and, not least, investment in new jobs that can ensure young people employment in the labor market. The absence of jobs in particular has repeatedly resulted in social unrest in the major Tunisian cities in recent decades. Check youremailverifier for Tunisia social condition facts.

Tunisia (Military)

The armed forces are (2006) at 35,300, of which 27,700 conscripts with 12 months service. The army is at 27,000, the navy at 4800 and the air force at 3500. The equipment is mainly older, western produced. The army has 3 armored brigades, 1 desert and 1 hunter brigade and 1 engineering regiment. The fleet has 19 smaller combat and patrol units and 2 support vessels. The Air Force has 27 fighter jets, 20 transport aircraft and 59 helicopters of various types. The security forces, the “National Guard”, are 12,000.

After Tunisia’s independence in 1956, France retained the Bizerte naval base. In 1961, there was a battle between Tunisia’s armed forces and French paratroopers. Although France won, the Bizerte left during 1963.

Tunisia Education