Chapter 6 Educational Leadership in Algeria

A Decisive Factor in the 2004 Higher Education Reform

In: Enacting and Conceptualizing Educational Leadership within the Mediterranean Region
Author:
Mohamed Miliani
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Abstract

The present chapter considers leadership as an essential invariant of the micropolitics of universities and a strong adverse-impact parameter on the last reform that was launched in 2004 in the Algerian universities. Socially speaking, educational leadership fascinates first because of material advantages supposedly attached to it. Internally, at university level, and despite the various forms and patterns of power, the reform of higher education has showed shortcomings and malfunctions that could be attributed to weak or lack of leadership. The first university evaluations (mid-term assessment in 2006, audits in 2010, and external evaluations in 2011) have stressed that the reform had suffered from drawbacks in the pedagogy used, the determination of curricula and minimal teacher training. However, leaders of the administration, namely the rectors, deans and department-heads, have always been publicly spared from criticism by the ‘Tutelle’ (line ministry).

In the present reflection, the focus will be on the roles of these university leaders who exercise organizational authority towards the implementation of the ‘Licence-Master-Doctorat’ (LMD) reform. Our presumption is that even if educational leadership is not attributable to these appointed or co-opted leaders, their own liability is not negligible though their accountability is never mentioned.

Educational leadership, understood as the performativity and positional authority of these university officials, is exercised daily on other stakeholders, in the form of follow-up, counselling, monitoring and evaluation of practices and tasks. An analysis was necessary to evaluate the role of educational leadership as seen by a number of stakeholders through unstructured interviews. Another corpus was central to understanding internal relations, namely the Algerian university ethics and deontology charter elaborated in 2010 by the Ministry of Higher Education.

A global assessment of the achievements of the 2004 reform showed that the changes that were supposed to occur were far from being concretely achieved in the field. This has been confirmed by the universities’ self-evaluations in 2018. Is it then a problem of the internal dynamics (dominance, control and/or resistance from one or several actors)? On the other hand, are the leaders’ limited capabilities or inappropriate leadership styles at the origin of the little effectiveness and efficiency of the reform where responsibility (organizational and academic) has been considered the less significant variable of all? It appears that the mission of the leaders is so restricted that it only approximates that of a caretaker (of students, staff and university structures), while supervising, for the most part, the yearly increasing university cohorts.

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Chapter 1 Problematizing the Dominant Discourses and Policies of Educational Leadership within the Mediterranean Basin
Chapter 2 Social Justice and Education in the Maltese State School System
Chapter 3 Challenges to Educational Leadership in Israel
Chapter 4 The New Public Governance
Chapter 5 School Leadership within a Centralized Education System
Chapter 6 Educational Leadership in Algeria
Chapter 7 Digitally Equipped
Chapter 8 How Do Portuguese Principals Deal with Competing Demands?

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