A migrant from Algeria walks inside the Guillaume-Bude secondary school in Paris, France, August 2, 2015. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe
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Apparently modest reform proposals for primary education in Algeria have touched off a firestorm of protest, highlighting deep sensitivities about language and identity half a century after independence from France.Standard Arabic has been the North African nation's sole official language since 1962, even though virtually no Algerians have it as their mother tongue and it has to be learned at school.Education Minister Nouria Benghebrit has proposed that for the first two years of primary school, teachers be allowed to give lessons in dialect to help children master the standard language.There are many countries where the language of education differs from that of the home.Berber was finally recognized as a national, but not an official, language in 2002, allowing it to be taught as a second language in some Berber areas.
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