Science and Culture of Tunisia

By | April 26, 2022

During World War II, Tunisia was first under the rule of the Vichy government of France (1940-42), then under the Italo-German occupiers (November 1942 – May 1943). Bey Moncef’s entourage (1942–43) created the “independent” nationalist government of Mohammed Shenik. In May 1943, as a result of the Allies in the anti-Hitler coalition, the United States and Great Britain, Operation Torch, Tunisia was cleared of the Italo-German troops, the government of Mohammed Shenik was deposed by the French colonial authorities.

The victory of the anti-Hitler coalition over fascism in World War II created favorable conditions for the development of the national liberation movement, the leadership of which was still in the hands of the New Dustur party and the General Union of Tunisian Workers (UGTT) cooperating with it, founded in 1946 by Farhat Hashed. From 1946 to 1948 the TUTT led major anti-colonial actions. The movement reached its greatest upsurge in 1952–54, when strikes in the cities were combined with the actions of partisan detachments of the Tunisian Liberation Army, created in 1952 by New Dustur.

July 31, 1954 France was forced to proclaim the internal autonomy of Tunisia. On June 3, 1955, the Franco-Tunisian conventions were signed, according to which the administration of the country passed into the hands of the national government with the participation of representatives of New Dustur. This Government has begun preparations for elections to the National Constituent Assembly. The aggravation of the crisis of the colonial regime forced the government of France to sign on March 20, 1956, the Franco-Tunisian protocol on the recognition by France of the independence of Tunisia.

The proclamation of independence initially hardly affected the economic positions of French capital in Tunisia. The monarchy also survived. The leaders of the New Dustur, who came to power, were forced to share it with the feudal nobility and the small Tunisian comprador bourgeoisie. March 25, 1956 held elections to the National Assembly, April 10, 1956 Habib Bourguiba became the first prime minister of independent Tunisia. On July 25, 1957, the monarchy was abolished and a republic proclaimed. In 1959, after the entry into force of the Constitution, Bourguiba was elected president and was re-elected to this post in 1964 and 1969.

In the 1960s and 70s. Bourguiba persistently strengthened the system of state power. In 1963, all political parties were banned, except for the pro-government Dustur party. In 1975, the parliament, having adopted the corresponding amendments to the Constitution, approved the proclamation of President Bourguiba as president for life.

In the beginning. 1980s Bourguiba legalized opposition political parties, but pro-Iranian Islamic fundamentalists, who were gaining strength, took advantage of this. The president brutally cracked down on the conspirators, repressions also affected the secular opposition.

April 6, 1987 84-year-old head of state for life Bourguiba, who led the country for 31 years, was removed from power and placed under house arrest. Bourguiba died in Monastir in 2000.

The operation to remove Bourguiba was carried out by a group of statesmen led by Prime Minister Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali. By decision of the ruling Socialist Dustour Party, Ben Ali became its chairman. He was elected to the presidency in 1989 and 1994.

In December 1996, Ben Ali launched a reform of the electoral law, which resulted in an increase in the number of opposition deputies in the National Assembly. The barrier that political parties had to overcome in order to get parliamentary seats on party lists was reduced from 5% to 3%. Opposition parties were guaranteed representation on municipal councils by virtue of a planned amendment to the law that would prohibit a single party from holding more than 80% of the seats in any municipal council.

October 24, 1999 Ben Ali was re-elected president for a term of 5 years. In the elections to the Chamber of Deputies, the Democratic Constitutional Association (148 seats) received 92% of the votes. In parliament, in accordance with the reform, opposition parties took 20% of the seats, increasing their representation from 19 to 34 deputies.

In May 2001, municipal elections were held in Tunisia. The largest number of seats in local authorities again went to candidates from the ruling Democratic Constitutional Association party, who received 3,885 out of 4,128 seats.

In a national referendum held in May 2002, constitutional reform was approved by a majority vote.

Science and culture of Tunisia

According to microedu, education in Tunisia is compulsory between the ages of 6 and 16. Primary education usually lasts 6 years. Secondary education consists of one cycle lasting 3 years and the second cycle lasting 4 years. In 1996, the coverage of children in primary and secondary education was 89% (boys – 91%, girls – 87%). The University of Tunis consists of 54 faculties and institutes. In 1986, two more universities were opened – in Monastir and Sfax.

1% of national income is allocated for scientific research and training of scientific and technical personnel. Scientific institutions are under the jurisdiction of ministries. The largest scientific organization is the University of Tunis (subordinate to the Ministry of Education); it includes: Center for Economic and Social Research, Institute for Scientific and Technical Research, Center for Nuclear Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institute for Educational Research. Under the system of the Ministry of Culture and Information is the National Institute of Archeology and Art; Ministries of Agriculture – National institutes for agronomic, forestry, veterinary, oceanographic and fisheries research, there are centers for medical research (Pasteur Institute, Institute for Family Planning and Maternal and Infant Health, etc.),

Tunisia has a rich cultural tradition. The country has many architectural monuments from the Capsian era to the Art Nouveau of the 20th century. Fiction and poetry in Arabic and French are developed. There are literary associations, literary magazines are published. There is a Municipal Theatre, professional troupes and approx. 60 amateur teams. The Dramatic Art Center has been functioning since 1959. Theater weeks are held annually, festivals of theatrical art of the Maghreb countries and international amateur theater groups are organized every 2 years. The national cinema is developing. As early as 1939, the first Arabic-language sound film in Tunisia, The Madman from Kairouan (directed by J. Crezy), appeared on the screen. Much attention is paid to the study and promotion of folk and classical music. In the 1960s a symphony orchestra was created, the National Conservatory was founded. International festivals are held, incl. Carthaginian Folk Art Festival, annual festivals of dance, music and theater in Carthage, Hammamet and Tabarka; festivals in Kairouan, art weeks, competitions.

Education of Tunisia