Higher Education In A Global Context Through The BMD System

Abstract

The idealism of the disquisition concerning this system is very attractive, but the reality of the Algerian Higher education does not respond to the requirements of the BMD (Bachelor, Master, Doctorate) system. What is important is to know how the system is run on the field; we cannot evaluate its results because the first students to graduate within the BMD system are expected for 2025, since the system is related to the new reforms accordingly with the general educational system. Through our investigation we wanted to know what the conditions of the work of the actor and the quality of tutoring BMD classes were. Our sample is built using the snowball method, the first teacher in charge of BMD classes directs us to the other, until we achieved an interview with 20 teachers in Algeria, in two different universities. A good circular loop information is essential for any reform to succeed, however; the absence of an efficient spreading of information between the collaborators led to the dysfunction of the BMD system in Algeria. University teachers in Algerian higher education work individually while the BMD system is based on collaboration and teamwork between pedagogical and Training teams. We conclude, the BMD system is badly run which leads to a gap between the policies’ qualifying discourse and the reality of the field and this affects negatively the teaching practices and the output of this reform as a whole. The lack of teachers’ conviction about this reform impacts adversely the implementation of the BMD system.

Keywords: BMD systemuniversity teacherinvestigationAlgerian universitytutoring

Introduction

The world is changing and our country is constantly under change as well. The latter is the only factor if not the only reality on which we have no control over it. The higher educational reform in Algeria is not a choice but a must.

The BMD system is based on a new academic culture which suggests a profound mutation of the whole university governance and an innovation in the content of the courses, methods of teaching/learning and assessment. This innovation aims at reinforcing the professionalization to respond to the requirements of the working world on one hand, and creating a good transition between the field of research and university studies.

In fact, the Algerian university is being reshaped, with a raise in awareness of the obligation to readapt to the new international norms in this domain, however; this institution has become flexible in the degree to which it accepts this change.

The notion of “reform” is often perceived positively in all fields, but the concept “change” is not necessarily positive; therefore; we tend rather to use this latter in order not to begin our work with a misjudgment. The society is unable to control change knowing that this phenomenon exits at any time and at every place, which can be done; is to control this change notably when it comes from the outside-and this is the case of Algeria unfortunately. And in higher education in particular, to achieve this mastery; we have to master the change which is introduced in our university.

Zineddine Berrouche says ”Since 2005, the BMD system has become a concrete reality in the Algerian higher education landscape. The number of university institutions which have adopted the new system has increased from 10 to 41 in three years”

Problem Statement

Therefore, after 55 years of the independence of our country, we found ourselves in front of this new system “BMD” which comes from the western world, the latter is responsible for many educational changes just after 1962, hence; we can ask and say:”why should we wait for half a century to reorient in a quasi complete way to the western world? Is this important period a waste? Work collaboration still exists between societies, it was formerly imposed by the strongest, but now it is with the contribution to the development of knowledge, using another way of sharing, it is “the sharing of knowledge”.

The BMD system is a form of this phenomenon with its characteristics of mobility and legibility, because for us, this system is a result of processes and work done in the western part and should not be imported freely, we have to look for the cost to pay; to know the harmful consequences it may generate.

Currently, what is important is to know how this system is managed in the field, bearing in mind that we cannot evaluate its global result since the first promotion compliant to this system is expected on average in 2025, because similarly; there is the reform of the educational system in general.

Research Questions

The idealism of the disquisition concerning this system is very attractive, but the reality of the field requires us to have a second thought about it. Our investigation that we launched in 2008, in Algeria as part of our research, is only a pre-survey to determine our field. We tried to touch the tutoring quality with which we manage what is called “reform”. This dimension is just the first part of our research which lead us to:

1) The first research question which is "who teaches who?"

In addition, the same university teachers who used to teach before are teaching in the BMD system this take us to formulate:

2) The second research question: “What is the quality of tutoring of university teachers?”

Purpose of the Study

Created by the north - Americans and reinvested by the Europeans, the BMD has established itself as the international standard that will now govern the qualifications and the universities around the world. It had to be able to face the globalization of knowledge which is itself preceded by the economic globalization which has led to the creation of large industrial complexes. The adjustment of the common core of knowledge and mutual recognition of diplomas internationally forces African universities, including our country Algeria, to shift to the BMD system.

The BMD system, is based on a new academic culture, which suggests a deep change in the entire university governance and innovation in the courses content as well as teaching / learning and assessment methods. This innovation is intended, among other expectancies, to improve the skills and to face the demands of the working world on the one hand, and to allow proper articulation between research and training, on the other.

Research Methods

The teacher or the university is very important in the system, and its quality is very crucial in any educational change. Through our investigation we wanted to know what the conditions of the work of the actor and the quality of tutoring BMD sessions were. Our sample is built using the snowball method, the first teacher in charge of BMD classes directs us to the other, until we achieved an interview with 20 teachers (10 from the University of Blida and 10 from the University of Bejaia).

The questions in our questionnaire are divided according to the work of the teacher from the beginning of the academic year to the end. Our work focuses on the axes concerning the distribution of teachers in relation to their age and grade, motivations achievement among teachers, teacher orientation at the beginning of the year, the BMD preparation programs, and the principle of tutoring. Our intervention will increase on these routes.

Findings

Below, we are going to display every principle mentioned above in the method section using crossed tables which allow regrouping information obtained from a data base, then calculate, analyse and compare this data.

Table 1 -
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From the above table, we notice that most teachers are young (85% are under 35) opposed only to 15% who are older and only 30% of them are full-time teachers. The relationship which exists between these two variables is evident, therefore when the teacher is permanent it means that he is advanced in age, thus; we conclude that there is a strong correlation between age and status in the Algerian university.

Interestingly, the age of the young teachers reflects many things, experience, power and the diploma in particular. Nearly, more than half of these teachers do not hold a masters degree, as a consequence; they have little experience with the ancient system or notably in the new one, and this has repercussions on the relationship between teacher-student which raises the question of “who teaches who?” Can a degree holder teach a degree holder? However, the reform of university begins from a good quality of teachers and their good integration in the system since they are the ones who vehicle knowledge and transmit it in an academic manner respecting the ethics of pedagogy.

Is there a lack of teachers in Algerian universities or is the offer of recruitment weak?

The reform at university touches all the aspects of higher education and recruitment is included, this table shows that recruitment counts less since the contractualization is frequent at university though, the competences of a teacher are decisive in the educational process because it offers a lot to this actor who is very strategic in his/her system; either on the rapport and financial side or even in his/her motivations leading to the accomplishment of his/her functions which are part of the function of university as a central system among social systems.

More often the status of the part-time teacher is not a high status in his/her institution, and even towards his/her colleagues which denotes that this teacher will look for his/her career development elsewhere outside university and as a result; his/her efficiency weakens which impacts by its turn the performance of university. It is confirmed that the certificate and the status influences automatically efficiency, then we may say that the BMD reform in Algeria is much more led by part-time teachers without a good experience. Hence, the quality and status of the teacher is an essential factor in the success of the reform because the teachers’ competences guarantee the success of university itself.

Table 2 -
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Despite the difficulties encountered by teachers in the BMD system; they are present and working with the influence of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Thus, we question the motivations of accomplishment of the work and maintaining of these actors in the system?

Each category of these teachers (full-time or part-time) possess their motives to work. Generally, the financial and social factors intervene in this question. However, conviction and pedagogy ethics are rarely present. The above table confirms this fact bearing in mind that 75% of the informants are motivated by the social status and the financial part as opposed to only 25% who are motivated by the BMD reform. Subsequently this system has no weight in this perspective, especially that; as we notice the majority of motivations are from the exterior, for instance; the social status obtained by part-time teachers who work in hard circumstances which is mostly important for these is to be “university teachers”, this situation and status suits them in society.

Surprisingly, the financial motivations play an important role in the work of the teacher, mainly in our country where teachers are the least paid in the Maghreb. It is necessary to satisfy the financial and social needs of the elements of this system who are the teachers in particular.

Table 3 -
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The recourse to didactics in teaching is a necessity since it attempts to deduce teaching procedures on the basis of the instructed object. As Poteaux claims it:”it will mainly work on the organization of the knowledge to teach by renewing the concepts of pedagogy and by inventing learning devices.”

This table shows that there is not a relationship between the status of the teacher and the degree of orientation, 85% of teachers are a little bit oriented or not oriented at all. Also, we deduce from this table that the academic year in the Algerian university is very disoriented in the rapport between teacher-administrative executives to the extent that 55% of teachers are not oriented at the beginning of the year versus 25% who are taken in charge in the same period conversely the BMD system insists on this.

In addition, teachers who are instructing modules in the BMD system have already taught in the classical system nevertheless; this new system requires new strategies which do not only focus on the orientation but also on the training of these factors especially in didactics and teamwork in order to achieve improvement in the system of higher education.

Table 4 -
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The work of the teacher in the BMD system is based on “Teamwork” what we call the “Pedagogical Team” but this table indicates the opposite since the preparation of programmes is conducted by the teacher alone (75% of the participants) versus only 10% of those who work in collaboration with the pedagogical team. We notice also that 15% of the informants prepare programmes with colleagues probably because of the knotted relationships which are a social factor which contributes to the development of university.

These percentages show a clear dysfunction within university which is due to the absence of the administrative intervention in the elaboration of BMD programmes and the orientation of teachers on one hand, and the existing conflicts between teachers who hamper teamwork. The relation between the two variables of the table indicates that the rank of the teacher influences the manner in which BMD programmes are developed; the two doctors prepare their courses alone, eventually this is due to their self-confidence and the negative vision they have towards others with lower ranks. Therefore, there is not cooperative work which improves the general output of the BMD system.

Thereby, the reform of the BMD system insists on collective work in collaboration, however; the field and reality proves that it functions through individual work.

The Principle of Tutoring

In order to favour the success of students, higher educational institutions organize in the first years of the first cycle of university education a device for support under the form of methodological and pedagogical tutoring.

The institution informs the students about the tutoring and suggests it for those who are really need it. Each institution decides in coherence with its pedagogical policy on the conditions of the organization of tutoring sessions.

Table 5 -
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Surprisingly, it turns out that many students in their final cycle suffer from the lack of supervisors due to the big number of students and the BMD system requires tutors for students since their first year! And how could teachers who are not oriented by their executives be responsible for students?

The number of students who need tutoring exceeds the number of the students who are supposed to be supervised, add to this; a teacher who faces 40 to 50 students in the classroom is not able to be a tutor and this confirmation is reinforced by the results presented in the table; 85% of students reject the principle of tutoring opposed to only 10% who say the contrary. This does not question the principle itself but the means to execute it are not available; the big number of students, the ignorance of teachers about how tutoring sessions are conducted and the fact that part-time teachers are not paid for it.

Concerning the relationship between the variables of the table; no relation between the rank of the teacher and the principle of tutoring emerged since the whole community responded that they reject tutoring due to the same conditions mentioned above.

Conclusion

We notice that the new BMD reform is badly run in the field; the teacher who is a central element in the Algerian educational system is not taken in charge both from the qualitative and professional dimension which provokes a mismatch between the functioning of university and its objectives.

The work of the teacher is dominated by individualism though the BMD system insists on teamwork to the extent that it functions with pedagogical teams. Therefore, the problem is not in the directives of this system but in its implementation. Teachers cannot free themselves from the ancient system without the intervention of the administrative executives who act only at the technical level and forget to play their role on the pedagogical level.

All this dysfunction influences negatively the efficiency of teachers work who are motivated by the social an financial factors but who are also demotivated on the pedagogical level and their beliefs and conviction about constructive change through reforms. Thus, this impacts negatively the BMD reform in Algeria and higher educational institutions in general.

Our results on the BMD reform are not exhaustive due to our sample which does not represent the whole population.

References

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Publisher

Future Academy

First Online

18.12.2019

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2017.10.78

Online ISSN

2357-1330