Individual Tunisian Schools

Figure 1.--

All the individual Tunisian schools we know about at this time are schools during the French colonial era which began in the 1880s. We do not yet have any information on Tunisian national schools since independence (1956).

French Colonial Schools (1881-1956)

All the individual Tunisian schools we know about at this time are schools during the French colonial era which began in the 1880s. We have photographs from several different schools, although we do not know the names of all the schools are very much about them.

Unidentified school (Ferryville)

We have only limited information on Tunisia at this time. As is common for the Middle East and North Africa, we have been able to find some information about European colonial schools, but little information about Tunisian post-independence schools. We do not fully understand this dichotomy at this time. Tunisia was a French colony. One reader has mentioned an unidentified school at Ferryville, a suburb of Bizerte. After independence in 1956 the town was renamed Menzel Bourghiba to honor of Tunisia's first president. We do not know much about the school at this time. The children look mostly French to us. We are not sure what type of school it was or what the admissions policy was. Almost certainly the classes were conducted in French. Here we see that the younger boys had a romper uniform. This looks like a Kindergarden class. It is not dated, but the child noted was born in 1945. We would guess this would mean that the photograph was taken in 1949 or 50. We have seem other schools in which the nursery school on kingdergardem class wore rompers. This was usually done because mothers chose rompers and not becaise the school required rompers. Here these patterened rompers were clearly a required school uniform.

(Ecole) Carnot

We have no detailed information at this time about the Ecole Carnot in French colonial Tunisia. All that we know is that it was a Jewish school. The school portrait is of boys. We do not know if the school was a boys' school or that there were different classes for boys abnd girls.

(Ecole) Saint Joseph (Ferryville)

This Colonial French school in Tunisia was located at Ferryville. It was the Ecole Saint Joseph, a primary school. The name suggests that it was a Catholic school, but we are not sure. Here we have a photograph of the CE1 class. The children would be 708 years of age, depending if it was taken at the beginning or end of the school year. French children at the time began school at age 6 in Cours Préparatoire (CP). The children at age 7 they began Cours Elémentaire (CE1). We are not sure precisely when this photograph was taken, but would guess about 1950. The school was a boys' school, unless there were separate classes for boys and grls in the school. The children all seem to be wearing casual shirts with short pants and sandals. The only exception is one boy who wears a bob-front romper. Another boy seems to be wearing a smock.

Bizerte Maternelle (Bizerte)

Here we have a photograph of a maternelle which means a nursery school. Often a maternelle was attached to a primary school rather than operated by itself. We are not sure about this one. Nor or we sure about the name of school. We do not know if the name was Bizerte Maternelle or simply was a maternelle located in Bizerte. Actually it may have been located in Ferryville, a suburb of Bizerte. A maternelle took care of children through age 5 after which they began primary school with Cours Préparatoire (CP) at age 6. Here we have a view of the school during World War II in 1942. The war reached Tunisia in November 1942 when the Allies landed in Morocco and Algeria (November 1942). The Tunisian ports (Bizerte and Tunis) becme a major military objective.

Sainte Agnès School (Ferryville)

This is the Sainte Agnès School in Ferryville. We do not know much about the school. It is clearly a Catholic school. Not only does the name suggest a Catholic school, but we see a nun in the background. The children here are very young. A French reader tells us that they would be 5-7 years of age. The photograph clearly shows a larger group than a single class. This suggests to us that the children may the younger childrern at a primary school, perhaps the Maternelle and Cours Préparatoire (CP) class. The school building looks to large to be hust a Maternelle school.

Unknown school (Unknown location)

We believe this is a French Tunisian class, but can notconfirm it at this time. The class looks like an older primary class. The photograph was taken in 1955 just before independence. The boys all wear a variety of shirts and short pants. One boy wears bib-front shorts. Another boy looks go be wearing a smock.

Tunisian National Schools (1956- )

We do not yet have any information on Tunisian national schools since independence (1956).


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Created: 12:40 AM 4/9/2005
Last updated: 5:58 AM 8/11/2005