The Education Ministry is now implementing a plan to build nearly 10,000 new classrooms in Israeli Arab schools by 2012. The plan follows the 2007 protests by NIF grantee Follow-Up Committee for Arab Education, which seeks an equitable allocation of educational resources in Israel.
“We approached the Education Ministry last year,” recalls Atef Moadi, Executive Director of the Follow-Up Committee for Arab Education, “and told them that there is a chronic lack of classrooms in the Arab sector and that the 430,000 Arab students in Israeli schools need 40 percent more classrooms. The response was very positive.”
Overcrowding in Israel's Arab schools
The Education Ministry set up a committee to examine the situation and consequently has allocated NIS1.1 billion for the construction of these classrooms over the next four years. The Education Ministry also accepted the Follow-Up Committee’s recommendations regarding the declining status of Arabic in Israeli Arab schools and various measures to strengthen the status of Arabic will be introduced.
“There is a lot of good will in the Education Ministry,” observes Moadi. “Our role now is to ensure that they make good on their promises.”