Christians furious over Israeli slash of school funding

Days of Palestine, Jerusalem –More than 30,000 students missed start of new school year this week as 47 Christian schools are protesting Israeli slash of school funding.

The Christian schools in ‘Israel’ launched strike to protest state policies, which were described by the Christian community as Israeli racism.

In recent years, Israeli Ministry of Education has cut vital funding to the schools and imposed caps on how much tuition they can charge.

“The cuts on the one hand, and the circular restricting collections on the other are dealing a death blow to the Christian schools,” a Christian official said.

Private Christian schools are among Israeli best performing educational institutions, established by churches hundreds of years before the founding of the Israeli occupation.

Although they serve Palestinian children of all religions, they play an important role in anchoring Christians to the Holy Land, where years of discrimination and economic hardship have caused the community to dwindle to just 1.6 percent of the population, according to The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation.

Christian schools, which fall under the Israeli ministry of education’s “unofficially recognised” category, teach Israeli core curriculum, supplemented with lessons about religion and Palestinian history.

In the past, the Israeli occupation covered 60 to 75 percent of the schools’ operating budgets. Over the past five years, however, the ministry of education decreased its funding to just 29 percent.

To recoup the difference, schools raised tuitions. But last summer the Israeli occupation imposed a cap on tuition hikes set so low that many schools say they can no longer afford to cover their expenses.

Christian School administrators point out that while their budgets have decreased, those of ultra-Orthodox Jewish schools, called yeshivas, have increased to the point where they are now fully funded.

Yeshivas, which are also “unofficially recognised,” do not teach the state’s curriculum and have significantly lower matriculation rates than Christian schools.

Public schools serving Palestinian students across the Israeli occupation have also announced strikes, mostly in protest of unsafe or overcrowded conditions.

The Parent’s Committee of the Abu-Wadi School in Kseifa Village in the south of the Israeli state suspended classes on Thursday, saying the classrooms were overcrowded.

In Haifa, in the north, the Parent’s Committee at Huwar School for Alternative Teaching also announced an open strike. They called for improved facilities and smaller class sizes.

An open strike was also announced by the Parent’s Committee in Arara, which said school conditions were unsafe for the children.

A spokesman for Arara’s committee, Ayyub Jazmawi, said there were electrical boxes near water sources in the classroom, which he said are “illegal.”

Source Article from

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress | Designed by: Premium WordPress Themes | Thanks to Themes Gallery, Bromoney and Wordpress Themes