Make Online Learning Accessible for All Israel’s Students
On 29.3.020, ACRI appealed to the Ministry of Education along with Haifa University’s Law and Education Policy Clinic, demanding that the full online learning curriculum be made accessible to all students in Israel. In the appeal, Attorneys Haran Reichman from the Legal Clinic and Tal Hassin of ACRI noted that the praiseworthy plan to move all lessons online currently leaves out tens of thousands of students who face financial hardships and lack computers or tablets at home, some of whom even live in communities that are entirely disconnected from the electrical grid, let alone internet service.
In the letter, we addressed the urgent need to find a solution for tens of thousands of students in the unrecognized Bedouin villages of the Negev, who are not connected to the electrical grid; for students who are residents of East Jerusalem; for students from both Jewish and Arab communities that are socioeconomically marginalized; and for students from asylum seeking families, whose circumstances are bleak from the outset, yet further aggravated by current job loss and the lack of a safety net on behalf of the state.
Furthermore, we demanded that the Ministry of Education make all online lessons available in Arabic, and ensure that all online lessons prepared by the Center for Educational Technology, which are now being broadcast on private television channels such as Cellcom and Orange, also be broadcast on the public television channel in both Hebrew and Arabic.
With no change in sight, we petitioned to the High Court of Justice against the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Finance on 4.5.2020 (HCJ 2823/20).
During the hearing some two weeks later, the court admitted that the petition brought up a fundamental issue, but that in its current form is no longer urgent, as most students had returned to schools at that point. It was decided that the petitioners should proceed directly with the new government ministers to address the principle at hand, and that if there is no solution reached, to return to the court. It was also stipulated that the Ministry of Education is obligated to look after the students in the underprivileged areas.
The appeal was written with the help of Kohava Biadagu