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Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15

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Today: Jul 22, 2017

JCSER Warns of the Collapse of the Education Sector in East Jerusalem Due to Shortage of Classrooms

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The Jerusalem Center for Social & Economic Rights (JCSER) issued a report holding the West Jerusalem Municipality responsible for the fate of more than one thousand Jerusalemite students, who were unable to join schools this year, due to lack of classrooms and the inability of schools to absorb the growing increase of Jerusalemite students every year. Some 400 new students joined schools this year, while 600 students in the eight, ninth and tenth grades did not find seats for them last year.

The report noted that the Jerusalem Municipality supervises 45 schools, with approximately 50,000 students, suffers from a shortage of classrooms, exceeding 1,500 rooms. This shortage of classrooms stands at 1,200 in schools affiliated with the Palestinian Ministry of Education, UNRWA & private schools.

The total number of Jerusalemite students is over 75,000 students in 120 schools. Of those, 25,000 students study in schools affiliated with the Palestinian Ministry of Education, UNRWA & private schools, and 50,000 students study in the municipality's schools and the Israeli Ministry of Education.

There are approximately 1,600 teachers in the official and private Palestinian schools, while there are 2,000 teachers in the municipality's schools, whose salaries are as double as those in the official Palestinian schools.

As for the situation of schools affiliated with the Palestinian Ministry of Education, they are in an extremely bad condition in terms of the following: small classrooms, lack of proper ventilation, overcrowdedness, and lack of computers and educational tools and equipment, given the fact that a large portion of these schools are rented and are accommodated for housing, not for schooling. The situation is exactly the opposite in the municipality's schools and private schools.

The report refers to the denial of large numbers of Jerusalemite students - residents of suburbs and towns located outside the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem - to their basic right to study in the city's schools, due to the military checkpoints, the intensified measures on the checkpoints, and the special entry permits they are required to obtain from the Israeli authorities. They are holders of West Bank ID cards and live in Abu Dis, Al-Izzariyya, Sawahreh Ash-Sharqiya, Sheikh Sa'ed, 'Anata, Hizma, Mikhmas & Beit Iksa.

Large numbers of West Bank teachers in these schools (constituting 70% of the teaching faculties) were unable to join their jobs, due to the intensified inspection procedures at the military checkpoints and the entry permits they are required to obtain. They face huge difficulties in movement through military checkpoints, and on many occasions, they are prevented from crossing the checkpoints although they have entry permits.

The report refers to the suffering of Jerusalem's schools affiliated with the Palestinian Ministry of Education, even private schools. These include immigration of human competencies to work in schools affiliated with the Jerusalem Municipality and the Israeli Ministry of Education, due to financial motivations and high salaries.

In this context, the report refers to the salary crisis faced by the teachers of these schools a year ago, forcing large numbers of teachers to join the municipality's schools, especially teachers of mathematics, English, chemistry & physics. Demand on these majors increases in the beginning of the school year.

Salaries paid by the municipality's schools are as double as those paid by schools affiliated with the Palestinian Ministry of Education, thus motivating teachers to move to these schools. Salaries paid by the UNRWA, private, and the Palestinian Education Ministry's schools teachers range between 2,000 - 3,000 shekels, while salaries paid by the municipality's schools teachers range between 4,000 - 6,000 shekels a month.

The report accused the Jerusalem Municipality of adopting a policy based on racial discrimination, with regard to budgets allocated for schools in East & West Jerusalem.

An Israeli study estimated the total amount of expenses spent on the education sector at approximately 90 million shekels, out of 560 million shekels (constituting 16.4% of the budget for education).

The report concludes that the severe shortage of classrooms and the deprivation of hundreds of students to affiliate with education institutions increased the school dropout rates among Jerusalemite students. A recent report issued by the Research & Information Center at the Knesset estimated the dropout rates in Jerusalem's school at 50%, due to the Israeli policy adopted towards education in Jerusalem over the past years.