Is­raeli Gov­ern­ment un­der pres­sure over Chris­tian schools strike

The Church of England - - NEWS -

THE IS­RAELI Gov­ern­ment is com­ing un­der in­creased pres­sure to re­solve the on­go­ing strike by stu­dents and teach­ers in the coun­try’s Chris­tian schools.

The cam­paign re­ceived a boost this week when the Angli­can Arch­bishop in Jerusalem, the Most Rev Suhail Dawani, joined the heads of the Chris­tian Churches in Jerusalem in call­ing for gov­ern­ment ac­tion.

In a state­ment re­leased at the end of last week, the Heads of Churches in Jerusalem — the um­brella group rep­re­sent­ing Is­rael’s Catholic, Ortho­dox, Angli­can and Protes­tant Churches — urged the gov­ern­ment to re­spond “to the schools’ mod­est and just de­mands.”

On 1 Septem­ber 33,000 stu­dents and the teach­ers of Is­rael’s 47 Chris­tian schools went on strike af­ter the gov­ern­ment cut ed­u­ca­tional sub­si­dies while also im­pos­ing a tu­ition cap.

Chris­tian schools, which serve the Arab Chris­tian mi­nor­ity, are “recog­nised but unof­fi­cial” un­der Is­raeli law.

They had been re­ceiv­ing gov­ern­ment grants to cover 75 per cent of their costs but the cur­rent gov­ern­ment bud­get has re­duced the sub­sidy to 29 per cent. The fund­ing cut was ac­com­pa­nied by a cap on school fees, leav­ing most schools un­able to meet their costs.

Chris­tian lead­ers note that ul­tra-Ortho­dox Jewish schools are also clas­si­fied as “recog­nised but unof­fi­cial” yet re­ceive 100 per cent fund­ing from the gov­ern­ment.

The Heads of Churches stated: “For hun­dreds of years, our schools have pro­vided qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion. Our com­mit­ment to ed­u­ca­tion and ad­vance­ment of our so­ci­ety is em­bod­ied in our mis­sion and vi­sion.

“There­fore, we call upon the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion and the gov­ern­ment of Is­rael to take im­me­di­ate ac­tion and end this strike by re­spond­ing to the schools’ mod­est and just de­mands in or­der for our stu­dents, teach­ers and par­ents to re­sume their nor­mal life.”

They added: “The strug­gle of our schools is a just cause, in seek­ing not only equal rights, but also recog­ni­tion of the out­stand­ing ser­vices that are of­fered.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.