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Israel tampering with Palestinian education in occupied East Jerusalem

Education has been a source of both hope and transformation for the Palestinian people, contributing to sustaining national livelihoods and providing skills for personal development and growth.

Israeli authorities last week revoked the permanent licenses granted to six private Palestinian schools in occupied East Jerusalem, claiming the school’s textbooks were “agitating the State of Israel and the Israeli army.”

The decision, announced by Israeli Education Minister Yifat Shasha Biton, will grant affected schools a temporary license to continue operating for a year, provided work is done to amend the curriculum. says.

The school affected was the middle school of Ibrahimiye College in the Al-Sawana district of Jerusalem, with 288 male and female students, and the five branches of the primary school of Al-Eman School with a total of 1,755 male students. and a female student.

The Israeli Ministry of Education claims to have seized a book from the aforementioned school containing content that “praises the prisoners and their armed struggle against the state of Israel”, citing Israel’s response to the regional water crisis run by the Palestinian Authority (PA). Condemns responsibility and ‘hard allegations of killings, deportations and military massacres’

Among the Israeli situations is the application of censored versions of the Palestinian curriculum, which edits certain content before distributing it to students.

Censored content includes the PA logo, Palestinian flag, Palestinian struggle against occupation, land clinging, right of return and prisoners, settlements, immigration of settlers to Palestine, military checkpoints, intifada Contains lessons to discuss. , displaced villages, and Zionism as a racist political movement.

Palestinian educational life over the past 70 years has had to contend with oppressive and often violent conditions under Israeli occupation.

Attempts to target Palestinian education have been unstoppable by various means since the occupation of Palestine in 1967. These included efforts to change the educational curriculum, restrict school construction, and encourage middle school students to enter the labor market and drop out of school.

school under occupation

There are four types of schools that provide education to Palestinian citizens of Jerusalem. The first is the Waqf School, which adopts the Palestinian curriculum and operates under the Islamic Fund Division. These schools were affiliated with the Palestinian Ministry of Education in 1994. Ninistry therefore oversees the provision of school supplies and covers employee salaries.

The second type is a private school owned by an individual or group of individuals or operated under the supervision of a charity or church. These schools rely on tuition fees or church donations to cover costs. However, 90% of private schools receive financial support from the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem and therefore adopt the Israeli curriculum.

A third type of school adopts a Palestinian curriculum and is run by the United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA), which is responsible for paying salaries and providing school supplies.

The fourth type is schools jointly supervised by the Israeli Ministry of Education and the City of Jerusalem, where the former oversees the technical and logistical processes of schools and bears the costs of primary schools, the latter bears the costs of secondary schools, Appoint teachers and cover administrators and their salaries. It goes without saying that these schools have adopted the full Israeli curriculum.

Tampering with Palestinian Education

After former President Donald Trump made the decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, Israel gained support for more control over the Palestinian part of Jerusalem.

The Israeli government has made a number of decisions as part of its $560 million East Jerusalem development plan from October 2018 to October 2023. The plan aims to bridge the gap between East and West Jerusalem in the areas of education, employment, infrastructure and planning through investment. The largest percentage of the plan’s budget is allocated to facilitate the transition of Palestinian schools in East Jerusalem to the Israeli curriculum.

It also threatened to withdraw the licenses of private schools that refused to implement the Israeli curriculum, and offered incentives to Palestinian students in Jerusalem to promote admission to Israeli universities if they chose to study the Israeli curriculum. It also includes doing

In parallel, Israeli authorities closed the Palestinian Ministry of Education office in East Jerusalem in November 2019.

According to a special report issued last February by Israel’s Ministry of Jerusalem and Heritage, 51% of public schools in East Jerusalem now comply with the Israeli education curriculum, an increase of 34% over the past four years. I’m here.

The number of East Jerusalem students being taught the Israeli curriculum, which includes subjects such as Hebrew, the Bible, and civics, as well as preparation for entrance exams, has tripled since before the government’s five-year plan began. increase.

The surge came as a result of a $135.9 million investment (consisting of, among other things, educational and infrastructure incentives) aimed at expanding the use of Israeli curricula in East Jerusalem.

Additionally, the report shows that over the past four years, 6 new schools and 65 new kindergartens have opened in East Jerusalem, and 9 new buildings have been rented out to schools using the Israeli curriculum.

The Israeli government, through the Ministry of Education and the Jerusalem Municipality, has taken a dangerous strategic and well-thought-out approach to tampering with Palestinian education in Jerusalem, often through conditional funding of schools already suffering from various challenges. adopted a plan. , urging them to accept Israeli funding in exchange for adopting the Israeli curriculum.

Israeli curriculum

The Israeli curriculum was first introduced into the Palestinian education sector in 2001. It is slowly but strategically adapted, designed to dissolve the narrative imagery of Palestine and the facts that have been recorded throughout history, to dull the senses of the youth. Finally normalize the profession. Israeli curricula are geared to erase Palestinian identity from the mindset of young Palestinian students and instill Zionist concepts while emphasizing loyalty to the state of Israel.

The Israeli authorities are committed to adopting dangerous policies regarding the education of Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem, by enforcing Israeli curricula and forcibly dictating Israeli stories to undermine Palestinian character, identity. , undermines individuality and presence.

This act by the occupying forces is a grave violation of international resolutions affirming that the city of Jerusalem is occupied and an integral part of the occupied Palestinian Territory.

Article 50 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights guarantee the right of people under occupation to receive an education in line with their beliefs and to protect their culture and heritage from alteration or distortion. .

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