Educational Challenges in Israel

 

By Johanna Farkas

 

Over 20 years, Israel has seen some significant developments connected to its education system. These advancements, by 2019, led to Israel becoming one of the highest spenders on primary, secondary, and post-secondary non-tertiary education as a share of GDP amongst OECD countries (Israel: 6.7%, OECD average: 4.9%),[i] with more than half of the population holding tertiary attainment between age 25 and 64.[ii] Furthermore, Israel’s fast technological developments put the country on the list of the top 20 most innovative countries in the world.[iii]

Despite all successes, Israel is still behind in ensuring some basic human rights regarding access to education for all its citizens and residents. Following brief overview of Israel’s ethnic composition and education system, this article highlights some of the most urgent issues in the country’s education sector by looking at educational differences along ethnic groups and socioeconomic classes, analysing the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as investigating what is going on in Area C of the occupied territories of the West Bank.

 

The Composition and Historical context of Ethnic Groups in Israel

Israel is a multi-ethnic, multinational, and multicultural state; 74% of the population is Jewish, 21% is Arab, 1.5% is Ethiopian, and the remaining 3.5% are identified as “others”. The composition of the Arabic-speaking population can be further categorised according to religious beliefs: 85% of them are Muslim, 7.5% are Christian, and the remaining 7.5% are Druze.

The ethnic composition of the Israeli population is crucial to discussing issues in the country since many problems stem from discrimination and clashes among ethnic groups, and the Israeli education system reflects these issues too. Conflict among these ethnic (and religious) groups frequently have deep historical roots, particularly in the case of clashes between the Jewish and the Arabic groups. Their conflict dates back to the very creation of Israel as a state, and the several wars throughout the 20th century, such as the 1948 Arab-Israel War, the Six-Day War of 1967, and the Yom Kippur War of 1973, further complicated the relationship of the two sides.

The Arabic-speaking minorities’ national identity rarely associate with Israel, whose political leadership stresses the state’s Jewish character, while refusing to recognise Arab or Palestinian national identities. Moreover, Israel frequently applies discriminatory practices towards these ethnic groups (also in the education sector) because state authorities frequently perceive them as a security threat due to the historical Arab-Israel conflicts.[iv]

 

The Younger the Better – The Israeli Education System

From its very foundation in 1948, the State of Israel has been closely monitoring and regulating its education system because they have been considering education as a way to ensure social mobility. The 1949 Compulsory Education Act was the first official legal action taken in Israel to enforce compulsory education which ensured free school attendance for children for 9 years from age 5.[v] Later amendments further expanded the Act, and, by 2009, compulsory education was extended until grade 12, while, by 2016, compulsory school entrance age was lowered to age 3.[vi] The successes of the Israeli education system are further reflected in the fact that despite compulsory education starting at age 3, 47% of children are already enrolled in an educational institution before age 2.[vii] Furthermore, 99% of the child population between age 3 and 5 was enrolled in an educational institution in 2019.[viii]

State-funded Israeli general education works along a four-stream system to satisfy all cultural, religious, and ethnic demands of its population. Consequently, the state provides secular, religious, and ultra-orthodox (Haredi) educational institutions for Jewish Israelis, while Arab schools serve the needs of Arab, Bedouin, Christian Arab, and Druze Israeli minorities.[ix] Along these ethnic and cultural lines, Hebrew-speaking schools are managed by Jewish principals while schools teaching in Arabic are coordinated by Arab principals. However, all principals are subjugated to centralised Israeli administration, funding, and curriculum which ensure similar requirements and control teacher-salaries.[x]

 

‘Some are More Equal Than Others’[xi] – Ethnic Discrimination in Education

Although the four-stream school system seemingly satisfies different types of cultural and religious demands, the curricula of Arab schools are largely organized by a Zionist narrative which omit Arab historical, geographical, and cultural perspectives.[xii] Arabs are underrepresented in governmental educational decision-making bodies, as well as in educational planning and supervision positions, which prevents the interest of the Arabic-speaking community from being asserted both on national and on local levels.[xiii] Thus, despite the wide-range of official responsibilities of the Arab schools’ leaders, they have little influence on decisions concerning their institutions as most educational policies are top-down determined.[xiv]

Inequality is also prominent between Jewish and Arab schools when it comes to budget allocation for advance learning programmes, and to provide programmes supporting students who have fallen behind or children with disabilities.[xv] Moreover, an approximately 30% smaller budget is allocated to the Arab school system in population ratio. Differences in school budgets are tightly connected to inequality of opportunity and quality issues, as Arab schools often have ‘fewer classrooms, libraries, laboratories, and qualified teachers’.[xvi] These factors also result larger classes which hinder the learning of students because they have less individual attention from their teachers. In addition, Arabic-speaking students are required to learn Hebrew too, which is an additional subject for Arab students on top of all other compulsory subjects, yet schools do not receive extra funding to support their learning. [xvii]

The abovementioned factors negatively influence the learning outcomes of Arabic-speaking students which is indicated by the average lower achievement of Arab pupils and students on both national and international exams.[xviii] Arab students are 30% less likely to receive a matriculation certificate (Bagrut) which is needed to enter higher education and certain courses or even jobs.[xix]

Figure 1 Ahmed, Kaamil. “Israel Reviews Discrimination of Ethiopian Jews.” Anadolu Agency, July 31, 2016. https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/israel-reviews-discrimination-of-ethiopian-jews/619002. (Accessed: 15 October 2022)
Figure 1 Ahmed, Kaamil. “Israel Reviews Discrimination of Ethiopian Jews.” Anadolu Agency, July 31, 2016. https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/israel-reviews-discrimination-of-ethiopian-jews/619002. (Accessed: 15 October 2022)

Ethiopian students also experience significant discrimination. Although most of them attend Jewish religious schools, particularly the Orthodox Jewish community in particular questions the legitimacy of the minority’s Jewish identity due to their relatively recent presence in Israel and often also because of their darker skin colour.[xx] Racial discrimination, sometimes even by teachers, combined with low socioeconomic background widens the educational gap between Jewish and Ethiopian Israelis and results a considerably large dropout rate (10.5% official dropout and 23% hidden dropout) among Ethiopian students.[xxi] The issues Ethiopian students face are so severe that only ‘30% of twelfth-grade Ethiopian students earn the Bagrut at the level required for university entrance, compared to 65% of the general Jewish student population’ which further hinders Israeli Ethiopeans’ social mobility.[xxii]

 

Innovation But Not Equal Distribution –Socioeconomic Obstacles in Education

In Israel, socioeconomic inequalities majorly exist along ethnic and religious lines: Arabs and Haredi Jews together constitute approximately 30% of the Israeli population but make up 60% of the poor in the country.[xxiii] The reason behind this overrepresentation varies for the two groups.

As mentioned before, historical hostility between Arabs and Jewish Israelis are still prominent and often result in discrimination towards Arabs. Haredi Jews, on the other hand, are stuck in lower socioeconomic positions because of their strictly orthodox religious lifestyle in which men dedicate their life for reading the Torah and the community lives in relative segregation.[xxiv]

Figure 2 Israel Sci-Tech Schools. “Haredi Schools and Villages.” Friends of Israel Sci-Tech Schools. https://www.israel-scitech-schools.com/pioneering-models/haredi-schools-and-villages/. (Accessed: 15 October 2022).

While Jewish Israelis usually receive quality education for years and live in families where both parents work, Arab and Haredi communities frequently lack quality education, have lower paid jobs, and live in families where either one or both parents are unemployed.[xxv] Low socioeconomic background is generally in negative correlation with dropout rates, while the parents’ level of education is also a significant factor; the higher the number of years the parents attended school, the lower their children’s chances to drop out.[xxvi] This shows a vicious circle of social immobility which widens the educational and socioeconomic gap between the ethnic and religious groups in Israel.

However, not only are parents’ financial and educational statuses determinant in dropout rates. Since funding for general education institutions is allocated by local governments, schools in less affluent areas are frequently underfunded and cannot always provide quality education. This means that funding for Arab schools in Arab neighbourhoods can be 10 or even 20 times lower than in wealthier areas.[xxvii] Moreover, the population of Arab areas is increasing, which means a significant rise in student numbers in Arab schools.

In light of the above, the redistribution and reconsideration of funding allocation is becoming urgent to ensure quality education to all students in these areas.[xxviii] Financial issues affect the quality of Arab schools negatively, which can have a demotivating effect on Arabic-speaking student to continue or finish their studies. It gives some hope, however, that dropout rates have significantly declined since 2003 among Arabic-speaking students and fallen from 15.8% to 8.1% thanks to some reforms targeting the Arab education sector.[xxix]

When it comes to the Haredi community, boys from age 14 often transfer to yeshiva schools which are not supervised by the Israeli Ministry of Education. These schools follow a specific curriculum which rather focuses on religious studies and gives little space to regular school subjects. This means that Haredi students usually perform worse than other Jewish Israelis on international exams neither do they attain the Bagrut, which prevents them from entering higher education.[xxx]

However, recently the Israeli government has shown some admirable efforts in assisting yeshiva schools to ensure more regular subjects being taught, and thus increasing the chances of young Haredi Jews to pursue higher education and higher paid jobs. The state offered to cover 100% of the funding with an additional stipend for each student at every Haredi school that adopts core subjects in its curriculum, like mathematics or English.[xxxi]

 

Lacking Technology in the 15th Most Innovative Country – Issues During the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic further widened the educational gap along socioeconomic lines. Israel has closed its educational institutions due to the pandemic in March 2020 and continued providing education through remote teaching.

However, many households lacked basic facilities needed for online education (computers, internet access, or even electricity) and even if they had access to them, families often could not afford multiple devices and facilities to support the learning of all their children.[xxxii]

The seriousness of these issues is exacerbated by the fact that students with low socioeconomic statuses are more likely to need assistance or extra attention from teachers which they rarely had the chance to get through online teaching, especially that some teachers also had difficulties adapting to remote teaching.[xxxiii] While some only struggled with getting used to the online platforms, others simply did not have access to appropriate facilities necessary for remote teaching.

In addition, online teaching was problematic in the Haredi Jewish community also because they traditionally avoid using internet, and although the number of internet users in the community is increasing, it is still not without obstacles for some children to participate in online education. A few Haredi schools simply refused to stop in-person teaching.[xxxiv]

 

Troubled Territories – Area C

Eventually, it is important to take a look at the West Bank territories (the majority of Palestine’s territory) occupied by Israel with almost only Arab residents. Legal, administrative, and governmental (and so many other) statuses of this region are complex and cluttered, but it is clear that Israel have significant influence over the region in every aspect.

The occupied West Bank territories were divided into three administrative regions in 1995, Area A, B and C.[xxxv] To put it simply, Area A is majorly governed by the Palestinian Authority (PA), while in Area B the PA has similar responsibilities, except for the security of the area which is managed by Israeli authorities. Area C, which means roughly 60% of the West Bank’s territories, is under Israeli control apart from certain civilian issues such as education and healthcare.

 

Figure 3 Welcome to Palestine. “Everything You Need to Know about Areas A, B and C.” Welcome To Palestine, July 21, 2017. https://www.welcometopalestine.com/article/areas-a-b-c-explained-west-bank-israel-gaza-palestine/. (Accessed: 15 October 2022).
Figure 4 Kadman, Noga. “Acting the Landlord: Israel’s Policy in Area C, the West Bank.” B’TSELEM. June 2013. https://www.btselem.org/publications/summaries/201306_acting_the_landlord. (Accessed: 19 September 2022).

Despite it seems that Israel does not have much to do with education in the West Bank, they do have a tremendous amount of indirect influence over these civilian sectors just by controlling land or constructions in Area C. Besides, international law also identifies some responsibilities for Israel as it states that territorial occupants need to ensure human rights and dignified living conditions for people subjected to occupation.[xxxvi]

The education sector in Area A and B are affected by the overwhelming control of Israeli authorities in Area C, since the isolated regions with no airport or bay can only get supplies through Area C. However, this article primarily focuses on Area C as the education sector faces the most severe problems there.

Area C of the occupied West Bank territories hosts approximately 325 thousand Jewish Israelis, 180 thousand Palestinians, and 20 thousand Bedouin and other shepherding Israelis.[xxxvii] Israeli control limits non-Israeli settlement and certain activities, such as construction and infrastructural matters. These measures often leave non-Jewish villages without basic utilities and services, such as water, electricity, healthcare, education, or appropriate public transportation and roads.[xxxviii] Moreover, Israeli authorities have the right to demolish Palestinian and Bedouin settlements along Israeli interest and relocate their population.[xxxix] Some Bedouin villages are demolished simply because the Israeli authorities do not acknowledge them as official settlements. [xl]

Despite the lack of direct Israeli influence on education, these conditions prevent mostly Palestinian and Bedouin children from attending school among appropriate conditions, or even from attending at all. The demolition of settlements endangers educational institutions as well, while new schools can rarely be built due to the restriction of non-Jewish construction. This leaves entire villages without any form of educational services. In 2012 alone, 37 schools were facing demolition because they were built without a permit from Israeli authorities.[xli]

The lack of infrastructure is also challenging for non-Jewish children to physically get to school, as public transportation and school buses are limited in the area.[xlii]  189 out of 532 settlements do not even have a primary school at all,[xliii] which means that many children have to walk up to two hours each way to get to school.[xliv] This often becomes impossible when weather conditions are hostile.[xlv]

In addition, it is often unsafe for small children to travel alone to school due to frequent atrocities targeting Palestinian and Bedouin children, some of which is committed at military checkpoints where children often need to cross to get to school.[xlvi] During school raids, the Israeli military frequently arrests several students and confiscate school equipment. These dangers discourage parents to send their children to school, especially their daughters. [xlvii]

Girls’ education is particularly endangered as some traditional societal norms prohibit them to travel alone and when no male family member can accompany them on the way, they cannot attend school.[xlviii] In addition, early marriage, or the need for them to stay home to help take care of their grandparents or disabled siblings, for instance, also results in many girls never attending or failing to finish their education. [xlix] However, it is not genuine to girls to potentially drop out or miss school to help out their parents.[l] As the socioeconomic gap widens between Jewish Israelis and non-Jewish citizens and residents, some families become unable to afford school equipment, basic needs like shoes,[li] or public transportation, thus they cannot send their children to school despite education itself is free.[lii]

These circumstances negatively influence the quality of education which results in common disinterest in education among children in Area C which can result in children leaving school, while the ones who can continue with their studies often do this in poor-equipped educational institutions.[liii] Dropout rates are particularly high among Bedouin children: only 32% of them get a matriculation certificate compared to 68% of the Israeli population (excluding the Haredi community). [liv] These issues were exacerbated by schools shifting to online teaching during COVID-19, as Bedouins frequently live in tents without any electricity, internet access, and computers.[lv] ‘About 100,000 Bedouin students and about 2,000 Bedouin college students from the Negev’ had severe difficulties to attend school during the pandemic. [lvi]

Finally, it is also important to highlight that education in Area C lacks the adequate financial resources. Most financial support arrive from international organisations, such as the USAID, UNRWA, and the Middle East Quartet.[lvii] However, both these organisations and the PA need to complete prolonged bureaucratic procedures to finance projects and receive permit from Israeli authorities. The difficulties frequently result in organisations abandoning their projects or lead to subsequent delays in project implementation.[lviii]

 

Final Remarks

Israel inarguably has some admirable achievements regarding its education sector. However, policymaking and policy implementation face severe difficulties not only in terms of creating effective and inclusive policies for its ethnically and religiously diverse population, but also because of (unresolved) historical conflicts among the country’s ethnic groups. These clashes are reflected in Israel’s education system where the disadvantage of, for example, Arab or Ethiopian Israeli students is significant compared to Jewish Israeli students. These inequalities are partly indicated by the generally worse performance of Arab or Ethiopian students on both international and domestic exams.

Tackling educational inequalities (or any discriminatory practices embedded into a social, political, or economic system) is a multi-generational project. However tedious, slow, or impossible it seems sometimes to carry on with such an initiative, the current state of the Israeli education will lead to further damage if inequality issues are left unresolved. The vicious circle of poverty, closely intertwined with ethnic lines, cannot break without mutual cooperation, understanding, and the recognition of each other’s grievances. The Israeli government in cooperation with civil society actors must bridge societal gaps and the wide-spread disconnection between ethnic groups and between socioeconomic classes, to build an empathetic and harmonious society.

Of course, issues are more complex than simply setting up a few educational programmes or giving some extra funding for Arabic-speaking schools, for instance. But change must start somewhere, and maybe it has already in the six Hand in Hand Arabic-Jewish schools.[lix] The bilingual privately funded schools work with a multicultural curriculum that aims to advance inclusion and equality in the Israeli society. Hand in Hand does not only initiate productive discussion between ethnic groups but also facilitate their harmonious cohabitation and cooperation to build a healthier society and a peaceful future.

 

 

 

Sources;

[i] OECD. “Education at a Glance.” OECD, 2019. https://www.oecd.org/education/education-at-a-glance/EAG2019_CN_ISR.pdf (Accessed 20 September 2022).

[ii] OECD. “Education GPS – Israel – Overview of the Education System (EAG 2019).” gpseducation.oecd.org, 2021. https://gpseducation.oecd.org/CountryProfile?primaryCountry=ISR&treshold=10&topic=EO (Accessed 20 September 2022).

[iii] The Global Economy. “Innovation Index by Country, around the World | TheGlobalEconomy.com.” TheGlobalEconomy.com, 2021. https://www.theglobaleconomy.com/rankings/GII_Index/ (Accessed 20 September 2022).

[iv] Ibid: 189.

[v] Krief, Tomer. “The Compulsory Education Law in Israel and Liquidity Constrains.” Israel Economic Review 7, no. 1 (2009): 79.

[vi] Center for Israel Education. “Compulsory Education Law Is Implemented.” CIE, September 18, 2022. https://israeled.org/compulsory-education-law/#:~:text=The%20Compulsory%20Education%20Law%20which. (Accessed 19 September 2022).

[vii] OECD. “Education Policy Outlook: Israel.” OECD. OECD, 2016. https://www.oecd.org/israel/Education-Policy-Outlook-Country-Profile-Israel.pdf. (Accessed 19 September 2022); 4.

[viii] OECD. “Education GPS – Israel – Overview of the Education System (EAG 2019).” gpseducation.oecd.org, 2021. https://gpseducation.oecd.org/CountryProfile?primaryCountry=ISR&treshold=10&topic=EO (Accessed 20 September 2022).

[ix] Ibid.

[x] Da’as, Rima’a, and Alexander Zibenberg. “Conflict, control and culture: implications for implicit followership and leadership theories.” Educational Review 73, no.2 (2021): 199.

[xi] Orwell, George. Animal Farm. 1945. Reprint, Boston ; New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Corp, 1945.

[xii] Reingold, Roni, and Lea Baratz. “Arab School Principals in Israel – between Conformity and Moral Courage.” Intercultural Education 31, no. 1 (November 20, 2019): 88.

[xiii] Da’as, Rima’a  and Alexander Zibenberg. “Conflict, control and culture: implications for implicit followership and leadership theories.” Educational Review 73, no.2 (2021): 189.

[xiv] Reingold, Roni, and Lea Baratz. “Arab School Principals in Israel – between Conformity and Moral Courage.” Intercultural Education 31, no. 1 (November 20, 2019): 89.

[xv] Da’as, Rima’a  and Alexander Zibenberg. “Conflict, control and culture: implications for implicit followership and leadership theories.” Educational Review 73, no.2 (2021): 199.

[xvi] Zeedan, Rami, and Rachel Elizabeth Hogan. “The Correlation between Budgets and Matriculation Exams: The Case of Jewish and Arab Schools in Israel.” Education Sciences, 12, no.554 (2022): 2.

[xvii] Resh, Nura, and Nachum Blass. “Israel: Gaps in Educational Outcomes in a Changing Multi- Ethnic Society.” In The Palgrave Handbook of Race and Ethnic Inequalities in Education, edited by Peter A. J. Dworkin and A. Gary Stevens, 631–94. Palgrave Macmillan, 2019; 671.

[xviii] Da’as, Rima’a  and Alexander Zibenberg. “Conflict, control and culture: implications for implicit followership and leadership theories.” Educational Review 73, no.2 (2021): 199.

[xix] Zeedan, Rami, and Rachel Elizabeth Hogan. “The Correlation between Budgets and Matriculation Exams: The Case of Jewish and Arab Schools in Israel.” Education Sciences, 12, no.554 (2022): 2.

[xx] Resh, Nura, and Nachum Blass. “Israel: Gaps in Educational Outcomes in a Changing Multi- Ethnic Society.” In The Palgrave Handbook of Race and Ethnic Inequalities in Education, edited by Peter A. J. Dworkin and A. Gary Stevens, 631–94. Palgrave Macmillan, 2019; 659.

[xxi] Ibid; 658

[xxii] Ibid; 660.

[xxiii] OECD. “Israel: A Divided Society – Results of a Review of Labour-Market and Social Policy.” OECD. OECD, 2010. https://www.oecd.org/els/44394444.pdf (Accessed 20 September 2022).

[xxiv] Black, Shlomo, Itschak Trachtengot, and Gabriel Horenczyk. “Community Post-Traumatic Growth: Israeli Ultra-Orthodox Coping with Coronavirus.” Contemporary Jewry 42, no. 1 (March 2022): 86, 90.

[xxv] OECD. “Israel: A Divided Society – Results of a Review of Labour-Market and Social Policy.” OECD. OECD, 2010. https://www.oecd.org/els/44394444.pdf (Accessed 20 September 2022).

[xxvi] Yanay, Guy, Hadas Fuchs, and Nachum Blass. “Staying in School Longer, Dropping out Less: Trends in the High School Dropout Phenomenon.” Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel, 2019; 19.

[xxvii] OECD. “Education Policy Outlook: Israel.” OECD. OECD, 2016. https://www.oecd.org/israel/Education-Policy-Outlook-Country-Profile-Israel.pdf. (Accessed 19 September 2022); 16.

[xxviii] Ibid; 16.

[xxix] Yanay, Guy, Hadas Fuchs, and Nachum Blass. “Staying in School Longer, Dropping out Less: Trends in the High School Dropout Phenomenon.” Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel, 2019; 9, 11-12.

[xxx] European Training Foundation. “National Qualifications Framework – Israel.” European Training Foundation. European Training Foundation, 2021. https://www.etf.europa.eu/sites/default/files/document/Israel_0.pdf. (Accessed: 28 September 2022): 4.

[xxxi] Shain, Yossi. “Régóta esedékes változás következik a Haredi iskolarendszerben – Vélemény.” The Jerusalem Post | JPost.com, 2022. július 2. https://www.jpost.com/opinion/article-711008. (Accessed: 28 September 2022).

[xxxii] Setton, Keren. “Pandemic Exposes Weaknesses of Israel’s Already Battered Education System.” The Media Line, January 6, 2022. https://themedialine.org/life-lines/pandemic-exposes-weaknesses-of-israels-already-battered-education-system/. (Accessed 28 September, 2022).

[xxxiii] Sabag, Ziba, and Shirly Cohen. “The Influence of the COVID-19 Epidemic on Teaching Methods in Higher Education Institutions in Israel”. Journal of Research in Higher Education 1 (2020):44-71.

[xxxiv] Ibid.

[xxxv] Welcome to Palestine. “Everything You Need to Know about Areas A,B and C.” Welcome To Palestine, July 21, 2017. https://www.welcometopalestine.com/article/areas-a-b-c-explained-west-bank-israel-gaza-palestine/ (Accessed: 30 September 2022).

[xxxvi] Ibid; 99.

[xxxvii] Kadman, Noga. “Acting the Landlord: Israel’s Policy in Area C, the West Bank.” Edited by Yael Stein. B’TSELEM. The Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, June 2013. https://www.btselem.org/publications/summaries/201306_acting_the_landlord. (Accessed: 19 September 2022); 12-13.

[xxxviii] Ibid; 5.

[xxxix] Ibid; 20, 44.

[xl] Ibid; 11.

[xli] Ibid; 22.

[xlii] Kadman, Noga. “Acting the Landlord: Israel’s Policy in Area C, the West Bank.” Edited by Yael Stein. B’TSELEM. The Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, June 2013. https://www.btselem.org/publications/summaries/201306_acting_the_landlord. (Accessed 19 September 2022); 55.

[xliii] OHCHR. “United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – Occupied Palestinian Territory | Access to Education in Area c of the West Bank.” United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – occupied Palestinian territory, July 4, 2017. https://www.ochaopt.org/content/access-education-area-c-west-bank. (Accessed 20 September 2022).

[xliv] Kadman, Noga. “Acting the Landlord: Israel’s Policy in Area C, the West Bank.” Edited by Yael Stein. B’TSELEM. The Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, June 2013. https://www.btselem.org/publications/summaries/201306_acting_the_landlord. (Accessed 19 September 2022); 28.

[xlv] Ibid; 55.

[xlvi] OHCHR. “United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – Occupied Palestinian Territory | Access to Education in Area c of the West Bank.” United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – occupied Palestinian territory, July 4, 2017. https://www.ochaopt.org/content/access-education-area-c-west-bank. (Accessed 20 September 2022).

[xlvii] Ibid.

[xlviii] Kadman, Noga. “Acting the Landlord: Israel’s Policy in Area C, the West Bank.” Edited by Yael Stein. B’TSELEM. The Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, June 2013. https://www.btselem.org/publications/summaries/201306_acting_the_landlord. (Accessed 19 September 2022); 55.

[xlix] European Institute of the Mediterranean. “Field Diagnosis: Girls’ Access to Education in Six ‘’Area C”” Localities in Bethlehem and al Khalil.” IEMED, October 18, 2018. https://www.iemed.org/publication/field-diagnosis-girls-access-to-education-in-six-area-c-localities-in-bethlehem-and-al-khalil/#section-main-findings-and-analysis-of-the-situation-of-girls-education-and-dropout-levels-GG9aD. (Accessed 20 September 2022).

[l] Ibid.

[li] Ibid.

[lii] Kadman, Noga. “Acting the Landlord: Israel’s Policy in Area C, the West Bank.” Edited by Yael Stein. B’TSELEM. The Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, June 2013. https://www.btselem.org/publications/summaries/201306_acting_the_landlord. (Accessed 19 September 2022); 52.

[liii] UNICEF. “State of Palestine: Country Report on Out-of-School Children.” UNICEF, July 2018, 3.; Kadman, Noga. “Acting the Landlord: Israel’s Policy in Area C, the West Bank.” Edited by Yael Stein. B’TSELEM. The Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, June 2013. https://www.btselem.org/publications/summaries/201306_acting_the_landlord. (Accessed 19 September 2022); 82.

[liv] Zaken, Danny. “Israeli-Bedouin Students Left behind over Coronavirus – Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East.” www.al-monitor.com, April 2, 2020. https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2020/04/israel-arab-bedouin-education-ministry-coronavirus-computer.html. (Accessed 19 September 2022).

[lv] Ibid.

[lvi] Ibid.

[lvii] Kadman, Noga. “Acting the Landlord: Israel’s Policy in Area C, the West Bank.” Edited by Yael Stein. B’TSELEM. The Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, June 2013. https://www.btselem.org/publications/summaries/201306_acting_the_landlord. (Accessed 19 September 2022); 23.

[lviii] Ibid.

[lix] Hand in Hand. “About Us.” Hand in Hand. 2022. https://www.handinhandk12.org/. (Accessed 21 October 2022).

Oroszország lerohanta Ukrajnát: Ki fizeti meg a háború árát?

Mahmud Darwish palesztin költő és író így nyilatkozott a háború jelenségéről:

„A háborúk véget érnek egyszer. A vezetők kezet ráznak. Az öreg hölgy örökké várakozik a mártírhalált halt fiára. Egy lány várni fog szeretett férjének visszatérésére. És gyermekek várják haza hősként ünnepelt édesapjukat. Nem tudom, ki adta el a szülőföldünket, de azt láttam, hogy ki fizette meg az árát.” [1]

Az évek során számos országot pusztítottak el háborúk és diktatúrák. Ezek közül sok ország fejlett volt, mielőtt a háborúk tönkretették volna őket; virágzó kultúrával és fejlett társadalmi és technológiai vívmányokkal rendelkeztek, mint például Szíria, Palesztina, Líbia, Afganisztán, Irak, Szomália, Jemen és még sorolhatnánk.

Diktátorok és korrupt politikusok kapzsisága és önzése nyomorba taszította ezeket az országokat. Sok ártatlan élet elvesztett; sok ország most is szenved a szegénységtől elnyomó rezsimek rossz kormányzása alatt. A háborúk miatt a nemzeti infrastruktúrák összeomlottak, miközben a pusztítás az országok környezeti értékeire is káros hatással voltak.

The Costs of War Project, Watson  Institut für internationale und öffentliche Angelegenheiten, Brown Universität, 2021

 

Ukrajna most csatlakozott azon országok sorához, amelyeket diktátorok kapzsisága miatt háború tesz tönkre. Vlagyimir Putyin nem csak megszállt egy Oroszországgal szomszédos szuverén államot, de rendszere teljes cenzúrát gyakorol a háborúról történő orosz kommunikáció felett is. A független orosz médiumokat és újságírókat, akik felszólalnak Putyin rezsimje, illetve a rezsimje által okozott orosz állampolgárok szenvedései ellen, azokat megfélemlítik és akár törvénytelenül őrizetbe is veszik őket. Ugyanígy bánnak azokkal a tüntetőkkel is, akik ellenzik Putyin uralmát és a rezsimje által Ukrajnában elkövetett bűnöket, például azt, hogy fiatal oroszokat kényszerítenek az orosz fegyveres erőkhöz való csatlakozásra anélkül, hogy tájékoztatnák őket arról, hogy részt vesznek Ukrajna lerohanásában. Mindezek tankönyvi példák lehetnének arra, hogyan is működik egy totalitárius állam.

Hogyan érintette az ukrán oktatást a háború?

A háború lesújtó hatással volt az ukrán oktatásra: az oktatási anyagok hiánya és a szegénység miatt az oktatáshoz való hozzáférés korlátozott. A háború miatt számos oktatási intézmény, például iskola és óvoda megsemmisült vagy megrongálódott, ami veszélyezteti az országban élő gyermekek jövőjét.[2]

Az UNICEF nemrégiben közzétett egy jelentést az Ukrajnába történő orosz invázió hatásairól. A jelentés szerint az invázió miatt több mint 350 000 iskolás gyermek nem jut oktatáshoz, mivel az iskolai infrastruktúra megrongálódott vagy megsemmisült. Mindeközben a tanárok által elsajátított tanítási módszerek sok esetben nem hatékonyak egy háború sújtotta szegényes oktatási környezetben, ez pedig szintén korlátozza az ukrán gyermekek minőségi oktatáshoz való hozzáférését. Ez azt jelenti, hogy a háború megfosztja az ukrán gyerekeket attól, hogy biztonságos menedékhez, vízhez vagy megfelelő oktatáshoz jussanak. [3]

Néhány probléma, amellyel az ukrán gyermekmenekültek szembesülnek az őket fogadó országokban

A háború kezdete óta sok ukrán keresett menedéket különböző országokban. Különösen sok probléma merül fel a gyermekmenekültek más országok iskolarendszerébe történő integrálásával kapcsolatban, főként a nyelvi akadályok miatt. A kihívások ellenére például a lengyelországi iskolák pozitívan viszonyultak a problémához, és iskoláik nemcsak befogadták az ukrán gyermekmenekülteket, de aktívan igyekeztek minél jobban segíteni a beilleszkedésüket. A lengyel tanárok támogatást nyújtottak az új ukrán diákoknak a nyelvi akadályok leküzdésében és a lengyel oktatási rendszerhez való alkalmazkodásban.[4]

Azonban nem minden ország fogadta ilyen jól a gyermekmenekültek érkezésének kihívását. Az Egyesült Királyságban menedéket kereső ukrán gyerekek jelentős problémákkal néznek szembe, mivel az angol nyelvet gyakran alig vagy egyáltalán nem ismerő diákok beiratkozása és beilleszkedése meghaladja a legtöbb brit iskola kapacitását. Ehhez jön még a brit oktatási rendszer elégtelen finanszírozásának problémája, ami nagy nyomás alá helyezi az Egyesült Királyság iskoláit, és a menekült diákok beiratkozási kérelmének gyakori elutasítását eredményezi.[5]

 

A háború hatása a nemzetközi diákokra Ukrajnában

Az ukrán egyetemeken tanuló nemzetközi diákok, akik közül sokan Afrikából, Dél-Ázsiából és a Közel-Keletről érkeztek, szintén a háború áldozatai lettek. Sokan közülük nem tudták befejezni tanulmányaikat, és kénytelenek voltak más országokba menekülni abban a reményben, hogy hamarosan visszatérhetnek Ukrajnába, és befejezhetik tanulmányaikat.[6]  Azonban sokuknak jelentős problémát jelentett a menekülés, mivel nem ukrán állampolgárként ügyüket a potenciális európai befogadó országok másképp kezelték. Ráadásul számos külföldi diák életét vesztette a háborúban, és legalább ketten estek áldozatul a fegyveres konfliktusnak csak a kitörést követő első napokban.[7]

A háború hatása a posztszovjet államokra és Oroszországra

Oroszország ukrajnai inváziója óta a posztszovjet államok polgárai félelemben élnek, hogy Putyin ellenőrzése átveszi országaikat. Az azerbajdzsáni példa különösen aggasztó, mivel azerbajdzsáni elnök, Ilham Alijev aláírt egy olyan megállapodást Oroszországgal, mely óriási teret enged az orosz befolyásnak. A 43 pontból álló dokumentum oktatási és gazdasági szempontokból is szorosabbra fogja a két ország szövetségét, ami elkerülhetetlenül növeli a Putyin-rezsim befolyását Azerbajdzsánban.[8] Ez például abban nyilvánul meg, hogy az orosz nyelv nagyobb mértékben válik kötelező tantárggyá az oktatási intézményekben.[9]

Az utóbbi időben az orosz oktatási minisztérium új platformot talált a propagandaterjesztésre az online oktatáson keresztül. Olyan ideológiákkal igyekeznek befolyásolni a gyerekeket, amelyek Putyin vezetését dicsőítik, és elmagyarázzák, “miért volt szükség az ukrajnai felszabadító misszióra”.  Nagy a kockázata annak, hogy ezek a leckék hozzájárulnak egy olyan generáció kifejlődéséhez, amely támogatja mind a háborút, mind Putyin oroszországi diktatúráját, ez pedig veszélyt jelent egy demokratikus orosz társadalom lehetőségének jövőjére nézve.[10]

 

Reméljük, eljön majd a nap, amikor a háborúk véget érnek, és a kitelepített vagy elmenekült emberek visszatérhetnek szülőföldjükre, ahol szeretteiket hagyták. A vezetők kezet fognak rázni, hogy békét teremtsenek a világban, de milyen áron fog ez megtörténni, amikor már annyi kárt okoztak? Nos, a hazákat eladták, népeik pedig megfizették az árát.

 

 

By Zinat Asadova

Translated by Johanna Farkas from https://brokenchalk.org/russias-invasion-to-ukraine-who-will-pay-the-price-for-this-war-2/

 

Sources;

[1] “The war will end” Poem by Mahmud Darwish

[2] Save the Children. (2022). Ukraine: Attacks on schools endangering children’s lives and futures. Retrieved from https://www.savethechildren.net/news/ukraine-attacks-schools-endangering-children-s-lives-and-futures

[3] UNICEF Europe & Central Asia Region (ECAR). (2022). Ukraine Situation Report – 24 February 2022 (p. 2). Retrieved from https://www.unicef.org/media/116031/file/Ukraine-Humanitarian-SitRep-24-February-2022.pdf

[4] Deutsche Welle (DW). (2022). Poland fights to give Ukrainian kids access to education [Video]. Retrieved from https://www.dw.com/en/poland-fights-to-give-ukrainian-kids-access-to-education/av-61185207#:~:text=About%202%20million%20Ukrainians%20have,Poland’s%20education%20system%20is%20enormous.

[5] Abrams, F. (2022). Ukraine refugees may struggle to find places in English schools, councils say. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/education/2022/mar/05/ukraine-refugees-may-struggle-to-find-places-in-english-schools-councils-say

[6] Fallon, K. (2022). Foreign students fleeing Russia’s war on Ukraine hope to return. Aljazeera.com. Retrieved from https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/3/5/they-told-us-to-go-home-student-recounts-ukraine-war

[7] International education’s continuing response to the war in Ukraine. ICEF Monitor – Market intelligence for international student recruitment. (2022). Retrieved from https://monitor.icef.com/2022/03/international-educations-continuing-response-to-the-war-in-ukraine/

[8] Azərbaycan Respublikası Xarici İşlər Nazirliyi. (2022). No:056/22, Azərbaycan Respublikası Xarici İşlər Nazirliyinin Mətbuat xidməti idarəsinin məlumatı (AZ/RU). Retrieved from https://www.mfa.gov.az/az/news/no05622; President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev. (2022). Declaration on allied interaction between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Russian Federation. Retrieved from https://president.az/en/articles/view/55498

[9] Aliyeva, J. (2022). Azerbaijani president notes importance of Russian language. Report News Agency. Retrieved from https://report.az/en/foreign-politics/azerbaijani-president-notes-importance-of-russian-language/

[10] Russia’s Ministry of Education Official Page on Vkontakte. (2022). An Open lesson “Defenders of Peace” (Открытый урок «Защитники мира») [Video]. https://vk.com/video-30558759_456242419?list=8411aa6de207bc39a2

Universal Periodic Review of Israel

The Israeli education system

  • The 1949 Compulsory Education Act was the first official legal action taken in Israel to enforce compulsory education, ensuring free school attendance for children, for 9 years, from age 5. In 2009, compulsory education was extended until grade 12, and in 2016 compulsory school enrolment was lowered to age 3.
  • State-funded Israeli general education works along a four-stream system, which provides secular, religious, and ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) educational institutions for Jewish Israelis. There are Arabic schools for the Arab, Bedouin, Christian Arab, and Druze Israeli minorities.
  • Hebrew-speaking schools are managed by Jewish principals while schools teaching in Arabic are coordinated by Arab principals. However, all principals are subjugated to a centralised Israeli administration, funding, and curriculum which ensures similar requirements and teacher-salaries.
  • Despite compulsory education starting at age 3, 47% of children are already enrolled in an educational institution before age 2. 99% of children between 3 and 5 was enrolled in an educational institution in 2019. 
  • It is commendable that more than half of the population, between 25 and 64 years-old, held tertiary attainment in 2019.
  • Broken Chalk is pleased to note that Israel spends 6.7% of its GDP on education which is above the 4.9% OECD average.
  • Between 2003 and 2017 dropout rates have fallen from 9.9% to 7.6% which is particularly remarkable since it ‘occurred primarily among the weakest students in the system’.
  • Despite all the investments and successes, the Israeli educational sector does show severe issues. Problems in the system are often related to the inequalities of the four-stream educational system, socioeconomic inequalities, and discrimination based on ethnicity.
  • For instance, Israel has one of the highest gaps in achievement, based on the best and worst performing students in PISA, among OECD countries.
  • Furthermore, enrolment numbers decline as studies proceed: enrolment amounted to 96.5% between age 6 to 14, while it was of 66.1% between age 15 to 19, in 2019.
  • As Israel has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child [CRC] in 2005, the state must commit to carry out its duties and obligations which include the insurance of free compulsory education and equal opportunity for all children. Thus, Broken Chalk urges Israel to address all issues which prevent the realisation of the rights enshrined in the CRC. 

Overview of the previous UN UPR cycle

  • In its national report prepared for the 2018 UN UPR, Israel particularly emphasized its efforts to ensure human rights in its territories, including access to education. Israel promised to work for closing educational gaps, and for the integration of minorities into the Israeli society, also through education. Efforts are reflected in the Resolution project from 2014-2017 targeting Druze communities to improve their education, and in the efforts to provide state funded higher education for the Arab communities through the CHE academic colleges.
  • Israel took further steps in expanding the number of years spent in education by lowering the obligatory school entrance age to age 3 and expanding after-school day-care services in 2017.
  • In the previous UPR cycle, Israel received 5 recommendations regarding the right to education, focusing on narrowing the inequality gap among different ethnicities. Israel supported 3 of these recommendations, however it rejected 2 which regarded the issues existing in Area C of the occupied territories in West Bank (see section IV.).

 

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