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21 February

| 2019 | 17:00

The East Jeruslaem Forum – the education system in East Jerusalem

  • Free
  • Invites Only
  • Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research, Radak 20, Jerusalem
  • Free
  • Invites Only
  • Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research, Radak 20, Jerusalem
The East Jeruslaem Forum – the education system in East Jerusalem

Yoav Zimran, Deputy Director of the Jerusalem Education Administration.

The education system in East Jerusalem

The education system in East Jerusalem has 115,000 students. 40% of them are enrolled in formal education, 45% are in informal schools, and another 15-20% are in private education, which is not recognized and supervised by the state. Private education is run mainly by UNRWA or the Waqf, these students are registered as residents of Jerusalem but study outside it.

Two things that influenced the shaping of the field of education within the five-year plan are: 1. the Jerusalem educational system began to operate in the East Jerusalem long before there was an awareness of this issue in the government; and 2. much of the activity that has already been done has moved the entire program. The municipality and the government, through the High Court, pushed for study to take place in official schools. To meet the High Court’s demand, the quality of the classrooms were effected and the number of students in the official education system needed to rise from 40% to 70% in the next five years.

In the coming five years, classrooms in West Jerusalem will be cut by 3,500 – 1,800 of them in East Jerusalem. To counteract this, there must be a significant increase in the schools.

Three and a half years ago, when they began to prepare in the wake of the High Court of Justice ruling, it turned out that no one was in charge of the education system in the IDF. The Director-General of the Ministry of Education at that time was Michal Cohen, and she established a strategic team for MZI. The most significant expression of this is an increase in the number of secondary supervisors to 16. The municipality determined that it does not enter institutions that do not belong to the official education system – only official ones, where it runs programs and accompanies the staff. As a result, the division was established and things began to move. Thus, when the Jerusalem Ministry wanted to prepare the five-year plan, the Ministry of Education was the first to present a work plan for it. In fact, the Jerusalem Ministry put many issues into the five-year plan as a result of the Ministry of Education’s material.

The five-year plan includes four main elements:

Hebrew learning, informal education and enrichment, access to higher education, and transition to an Israeli curriculum.

Hebrew studies:

The biggest problem in this area is the lack of quality teachers. The government is working on retraining programs for teachers who will be trained to become Arabic teachers. Additionally, a course was opened to teach Hebrew as a foreign language, for Arabs, at  Hebrew University, and the David Yellin College. The last thing they tried to do was to give incentives to teachers who came from the north to Jerusalem to teach Hebrew – the same model that went through the Negev for the Bedouin sector – and that’s a very small success because life in Jerusalem is very expensive.

Non-formal education:

This is not meant for youth movements, rather for enrichment within the school and kindergartens through extension of the school day and lunch for kindergarten children and grades 1-2. This program works in all the official schools and in 10 schools that teach Israeli curriculum, and there is not much demand in the field of preschools because mothers do not work so they have no reason to send their children to school.

Israeli Curriculum:

One of the major goals of the Jerusalem office was to increase the institutions that study according to Israeli Tali. Another goal is in reducing the phenomenon of dropping out, which stems from the structure of the Tujia – a system where if one fails in a certain profession, all the tests must be repeated. At first the ministry wanted the entire five-year plan to apply only to Israeli schools, but the municipality did not agree. In the end, it was agreed that the municipality would undertake to increase 20 classes per year to study in Israeli Tali and at the same time the five-year plan would take care of all the students. The first school to be established in this manner is the Technological School in Beit Hanina. The next stage is to establish elementary schools for languages ​​and sciences. Importantly, all these schools involve boys and girls. Today, there are 9,000 children studying in the Israeli program, compared to 500 who studied there before the Technological School was established, however, the introduction of Israeli classrooms into Palestinian schools is a much less successful process.

Higher education:

Both in terms of directing students to higher education and also in order to solve the need for missing positions in the MZI, such as social workers, psychologists, and other therapeutic professions. The government is training graduates who studied at Al-Najah and Al-Quds University in order to adapt them to the Israeli labor market. This program aims of creating leadership and communication with academia – the task is to make as many people as possible aware of Israel’s education and employment.

The education system is the most active in all areas of the five-year plan. Dr. David Koren and Zion Regev are responsible for the synchronization and implementation of the program in the field and its adaptation to the systems.