الرئيسية » أخبار بلدنا » Israel drains budgets of Christian schools
Israel drains budgets of Christian schools
13/09/2015 - 22:21
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Israel drains budgets of Christian schools 
 
Tomorrow will be the third consecutive week that 33,000 Arab Palestinian citizens of Israel have been unable to return to school after the summer holidays after an open-ended strike was called for by the Palestinian Christian community schools. In place since the start of the academic year, the strike includes Palestinian Christian community schools inside Israel. This step was taken following the decision by the Israeli Education Ministry to cut its funding of the church-run schools from 75% of the schools' budgets to just 29%. This follows the Ministry's adoption over previous years of policies designed to drain the resources of these educational institutions by reducing allocations of State funding, leading to a reduction of the schools' physical capacities and even closure. 
 
The school are demanding equality of the Palestinian Christian and religious Jewish orthodox community school systems,which hold the same legal status , in terms of budget allocations and the rights of teachers and pupils, especially with regards to reducing class sizes to 28 pupils. 
 
These church-run community schools have historically played a vital role in Palestinian education which goes beyond religious teaching,serving the entire Arab community including Muslims and Druze. The schools, while still constrained by the Ministry of Education censor, are able to maintain a greater degree of free speech, teaching an unbiased history of the country and region and allowing pupils to learn about their Palestinian culture and roots. This latest blow to these schools and the concerted efforts to undermine them is all part of a strategy to erode Palestinian consciousness and culture. 
 
With the the Education Ministry reducing funding to just 29% of the schools' total running costs, the shortfall has been left to the students' families to pay, a situation which school officials say places an unbearable burden on the parents. This has led to voices being raised demanding an increase in general budget allocations to these Palestinian Christian community schools, which according to officials amount to less than a third of the amount which the equivalent Jewish community schools receive. 
 
A Call to Action
 
This issue is not just a matter for the Palestinian Christian schools and institutions themselves, and based on what has already been mentioned and our belief in the need to take an inclusive, unified position, we ask our communities, families, teachers, students and organisations to join and to be a part of the movement which our community schools are building. and to participate in raising awareness amongst our people of this fight for our basic rights. 
 
We at the Baladna Association for Arab Youth support the struggle of the Arab Palestinian Christian community schools and we raise our voice as one to denounce these discriminatory and oppressive policies. and to demand our individual and collective rights. We invite you all to stand with our students and defend their rights, to show our refusal of any discriminatory acts in these issues so crucial for our futures, and to demonstrate our ability to resist all plans aimed at depriving our students of their basic rights to education.
 
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Israel drains budgets of Christian schools

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