The Ministry of Education is Violating the Rights of 18,000 Students
The High Follow-Up Committee on Arab Education | ACRI The Regional Council of the Unrecognized Villages in the Negev
As of this coming Sunday, approximately 18,000 kindergarten and schoolchildren from the Negev’s unrecognized villages will not be able to attend educational institutions, as negotiations between the Ministry of Education and the Al-Kasom Regional Council, which provides the students with educational services, went up in smoke yesterday (8.1.2020). ACRI demands that the Ministry of Education fulfill its obligation and address this crisis immediately.
The school year in the educational institutions in the unrecognized villages had a delayed start due to budgetary disagreements between the Ministry of Education and the Al-Kasom Regional Council, which is responsible for providing educational services to the seven recognized villages within its jurisdiction, as well as the 18,000 students from the unrecognized villages. This falls within the framework of an agreement signed by the Ministry of Education and the Regional Council.
Following a petition submitted by ACRI, a memorandum of understanding was achieved that enabled studies to resume. However the parties did not honor the commitments made, and the crisis resumed. Approximately two months ago, ACRI appealed again, in the name of the Regional Council of the Unrecognized Villages in the Negev, The Follow-Up Committee on Arab Education and three parents of students, demanding that the court mandate the Ministry and the Al-Kasom Council to take immediate action to welcome 34,000 students back to their school desks.
The parties conducted negotiations, and at the beginning of the week informed the court that they had formulated an agreement, though it still required the approval of the Ministry of Finance. Yesterday negotiations collapsed, and as of now 18,000 students won’t be able to attend school come Sunday.
Atia al-Asem, Head of the Regional Council of the Unrecognized Villages in the Negev: “The state of Arab education in the Negev is incredibly problematic, and the students are blatantly discriminated against. Rather than swiftly seeking a solution to improve education in the Negev, the State is leaving schoolchildren and their parents to struggle to ensure the most basic right of education.”
Following the petitioner's request, a hearing was held on January 12, 2020, during which the parties reached a compromise, and the agreement between the Ministry of Education and the Regional Council was renewed for two years. Students returned to their classrooms the following day.
Appeal No: 24494-11-19 (Hebrew)