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Israel’s Education Budget Sees Discrimination in Favor of Jews

Israel’s Education Budget Sees Discrimination in Favor of Jews

Thursday, 5 December, 2019 - 18:30
Palestinian children attend a class in a school in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukhaber June 15, 2017. (Reuters)

Only 10 percent of Israel’s education ministry budget is earmarked to boost the development of Arab schools, although 22 percent of all pupils in Israel are Arab, according to a new study published on Wednesday.

Although the gap between Arab and Jewish elementary schools has narrowed in recent years, there are significant differences in the preparatory and secondary levels, where the level of Arab education is low, according to the study by the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Tel Aviv.

Researchers at the center suggested changing the way budgets are monitored, through a bundle of different services for pupils from kindergarten through secondary school.

Such a plan would put all services under the Ministry of Education, instead of the current situation, where local authorities with unequal resources are involved in financing education expenses equally, they said.

The results of the Program for International Students Assessment in science, mathematics and linguistic expression (PISA), for 2018, showed the low level of achievement of Arab students in the country, compared to results achieved by Jewish students and students of the Economic Forum of Developed Countries (OECD).

The PISA results showed that the average score for Arab students was about 100-180 points lower than the average grades for Jewish students.

The Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Education, Shmuel Abuav, commented on the results.

“These data indicate that there is a constant gap between the students of the Jewish and Arab communities, but in the last exam, this gap has widened,” he said.

“We cannot accept this reality and will conduct a thorough and radical examination through the establishment of a special examination committee on this subject,” he added.

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