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  • In Israel, Arab schools

    In Israel, Arab schools "suffer both from budgetary discrimination and the outdated teaching methods customary to it," NGO says. | Photo: Reuters

Published 16 January 2020

In Jewish schools the dropout rate was 1.6 percent for the 2017-2018 year whereas for students in Arab schools it was 2.9 percent. 

The number of middle and high school students who withdraw before completing their studies in Israel’s Arab schools is nearly twice as high as that of students in Jewish schools, according to a report released Tuesday by the National Council for Children in Israel.

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In Israel’s Jewish schools the dropout rate was 1.6 percent for the 2017-2018 school year whereas for students in the Arab educational system it represented 2.9 percent. 

Thabet Abu Rass and Amnon Be’eri-Sulitzeanu, joint directors of the Abraham Initiatives, an NGO that works to advance equality between Arabs and Jews in Israel, said that the report’s findings are unsurprising to anyone who knows the Arab education system. 

This system “suffers both from budgetary discrimination and the outdated teaching methods customary to it. This is the very expected outcome of segregation between school systems – there is no such thing as separate but equal,” they said in a statement released Tuesday.

The Jewish state’s education ministry said it “must invest manpower and funds to erase the allocation gaps, and to work to establish a single official education system, Jewish-Arab, that will not allow for gaps according to the national background.”

On the other hand officials in the ministry said the transition from elementary school to junior high school is crucial and can drive students to leave their studies as the course becomes heavier with a larger range of subjects. Another number of personal issues including moving house frequently, unemployment or migration, can also lead to students to abandon school.

The report also shows that new migrants drop out at over twice the rate of Israeli-born students in Jewish schools. The more recently the students migrated, the higher the chances of dropping out.

Israel’s Arab citizens are the descendants of the Palestinians who remained in their lands or were internally displaced during the 1948 Nakba resulting in the creation of Israel. They represent 21 percent of the population and for the most part, they consider themselves Palestinians.

On Jan.19, 2018, the 14th Basic Law was passed by the Israeli Knesset, which declared Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had said that the law would not deprive Israel’s Arab citizens of equal rights, yet Palestinians are witnesses of a rising anti-Arab sentiment, mostly pushed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's far-right.

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