Israel imposes school curriculum on Palestinian Jerusalemites

Israel imposes school curriculum on Palestinian Jerusalemites
2 min read
29 January, 2016
East Jerusalem schools that stick to teaching the Palestinian curriculum will not receive funding, in a move by Israel to further 'Israelise' the city.
Israeli settlement being constructed in mostly Palestinian East Jerusalem suburb, 26 January, 2016 [AFP]
The Israeli education ministry wants to impose an Israeli curriculum on East Jerusalem schools, in a controversial move that has been condemned by both Palestinian and Israeli educators.

Israeli newspaper Haaretz said schools that stick with Palestinian curriculum will not receive "extra funding" that will go to schools that teach the Israeli curriculum.

This provocative move is perceived by the Palestinian side as another attempt to "Israelise" East Jerusalem.

Other well documented moves include forcing Palestinians out of their homes in Jerusalem and cutting it off from the West Bank. Palestinians would wake up in their homes in East Jerusalem to find Israeli settlers had moved into the building were flying Israeli flags from the roof.

The money comes "from a general budget that is supposed to serve all East Jerusalem students," reported Haaretz, citing senior ministry officials.

This means that funding may not be enough to cover schools that choose to reject the Israeli curriculum, reflecting a very discriminately approach by the Israeli occupation.
Funding may not be enough to cover schools that choose to reject the Israeli curriculum

Both Arab and Israeli educators have criticised the interior ministry's programme, according to Haaretz.

East Jerusalem is not considered by the international community to be part of the occupied Israeli territories, but its schools have been neglected for so long that some of them may be tempted by the much needed funds.

Even Palestinian schools inside the occupied territories have suffered funding cuts.

Israel introduced a 71 percent budget cut to Christian schools in 2015 that left many unable to open their doors to students, according to the Anglican Communion News Service website.

Only eight schools in East Jerusalem teach the Israeli curriculum out of 180 schools according to Haaretz, and only two of those are ordinary public schools.

This week Israel's Education Minister Naftali Bennett said he wants "to provide a strong tailwind to any school that chooses the Israeli curriculum. My policy is clear: I want to aid the process of Israelisation". The newspaper reported that he has "aparently approved" it.