Teachers have gone on strike in Jerusalem in protest against attempts to impose the Israeli curriculum in Arab schools and the dilapidated infrastructure in which they are forced to work.
Three schools took part in the civil action, including one each in Silwan, Al-Issawiya and Shuafat in occupied East Jerusalem.
The head of the parents’ committee in Shuafat, Ashraf Al-Ais, said the strike followed a series of policies imposed by the Israeli municipality on them each year.
He told journalist that the curriculum is the worst which has been forced upon them in four years.
Sawsan Al-Safadi, public relations officer at the Education Directorate, said the three schools were closed today in protest against the school infrastructure, the attempt to impose the Israeli curriculum, and the failure of the municipality to meet the needs of students.
The school in Silwan had agreed to hold two classes to teach the Israeli curriculum, Al-Safadi explained, however it did not do so because parents rejected the plan.
Israel had also sacked the school principle in the school in Al-Issawiya after she refused to teach the Israeli curriculum. This raised the issue of the curriculum to the parents’ attention.
In Shuafat, Al-Safadi said, the school principle had been changed every year leading to a lack of stability at the school, reducing the quality of education and has caused increased dropout rates amongst students.
The Israeli occupation municipality continuously attempts to implement its policy of imposing the Israeli curriculum in all schools in East Jerusalem, threatening to withdraw financial support from schools which refuse to teach its syllabus.
School principals consider this policy a means through which Israel is trying to eradicate the Palestinian identity and history.
At present, the municipality provides fewer funds to Arab schools than those for Jewish educational institutes, causing a shortage of classrooms, overcrowding, infrastructure which is decrepit and which has led to students unwilling to complete their education.