Published On: Tue, Jun 30th, 2015

Church-run schools in Israel soon to be government owned


Israel being controversial as it always is wants to start government control for church-run schools which have been independently run for more than 100 years, before the creation of Israel.

There are 47 schools which cater to Israel’s community of 1.5 million Palestinian citizens, who make up one-fifth of the population. The schools are attended by about 33,000 children – some 5 percent of the Palestinian school-age population – and employ 3,000 teachers. Israel segregates the country’s education system based on ethnicity. They are one of the highest achieving schools in Israel.

Palestinian community leaders are concerned because the schools being not only for beneficial for the children in terms of education, but have also been a gateway for children to escape the dire situations in Israel and Palestine. The schools educate both Muslims and Christians and have been doing greatly without any interference.

Yousef Jabareen, an Arab member of the Knesset, had this to say;

“In the Arab state schools, Jewish officials appoint the principals, vet the teachers and dictate the curriculum,” he also added.  “Christian schools have the flexibility to choose their staff, and teach pupils about their national identity, Palestinian culture and history, and their rights as citizens. All that is under threat now.” 

Negotiations with the government fell short recently when education officials made a solution that the school be government owned from now.

In the past, Israel has funded between 60% to 75% of the costs of approved independent schools, with parental contributions and fundraising filling the gap. Now, it has dropped to 45%, the church schools find it difficult to make schools run with this low amount of funding.

With all of this, one action leads to another as now parents are having difficulty paying school fees and it would be no surprise that majority of the Palestinian community live below the poverty line. Parents would send their children to the Arab-run schools which have a drop out rate of 17%.

In the past, the church run schools have been exceeding and have a 95% matriculation rate in their schools, higher than the Jewish run schools. Having these children not able to pay their school fees and leaving the church schools and attending the Arab-run ones where only a quarter of the students matriculate.

Studies have been conducted by the Follow-up Committee for Arab Education have shown that Jewish students receive more funding than of Arab students – which is $1,100 each compared to $192.

The Arab Sector suffers from more than 6,000 classrooms and 4,000 teachers. On the other hand, the Jewish Sectors have twice as many computers relative to their student body than Arab schools.



It’s sad to hear these statistics as this happens and to now that the church run schools will lose their independence and be subject to government rule. The children are the ones to suffer. 



Source: Al Jazeera News 

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