Christian schools on indefinite strike

//Christian schools on indefinite strike

Christian schools on indefinite strike

Christian schools have been on strike since last September 1 for their right to education.

Christian schools in Israel did not open their doors this year. An indefinite strike began, indeed, last September 1, coinciding with the opening of the school year, to protest against policies of the Jewish State against their rights, that are considered ‘discriminatory’.

Principal of school, Wasifieh – Nazareth
“The first day of September is a day of celebration for us and for all the schools in Israel. I always admired the arrival of first graders to school. Their entrance to the classroom is full of excitement. We made all the preparations for this first day of school. But, unfortunately, this time we had to forbid their entry as well as the celebration of this important day.”

The budget restrictions imposed by the government are at the root of this protest. This is a dispute that has lasted for years, after the public funds rapidly decreased by 45%, forcing schools to increase student tuitions.

Director of Latin Patriarchate schools in Israel and Palestine
“We are defending the rights of Arab, Christians, Muslim and Druze children who attend our schools. We are suffering racial discrimination.

Our Christian schools have been negotiating with the government bureau for two years in order to obtain their own fundamental rights for their Palestinian Arab students in Israel.

The different events that took place were necessary to establish this situation and the presence of all of these people shows that this is a just cause.”

Christian schools that hold the status of ‘approved, but not public’ welcome about 33 thousand students every year, who attend 47 institutions, and provide education to the Arab minority in Israel, including Christians and non- Christians.
Most of these schools were already active before the foundation of the State of Israel and, in the quality rankings, assigned by the Ministry of Education, they are considered some of the best in the country.

Principal of school, Wasifieh – Nazareth
“Private Christian schools have a great impact on our society and on Israeli society in general. We are talking about well-established schools, with graduates who work within the social fabric, occupying high level positions.”

A series of peaceful demostrations, as was the case on May 27, took place in different parts of the country. From Nazareth to Haifa, through Ramleh, the protest reached the holy city, where hundreds of protesters, comings from all over the country in 110 buses, gathered just outside the Ministry of Education building last Sunday.

Student in Ramleh
“We are here to speak our mind, because this is a democratic state and we are asking them to listen to us.”

Mother of student in Ramleh
“Today I came here to protest with my son for a fundamental right, that is education.”

Melkite Greek Archbishop, Acre
“Why is this a fair request? The people who spoke today know that what we are demanding is just. We demand justice and equality.”

Latin Patriarch Emeritus of Jerusalem
““The problem is that there is a law in Israel that should be applied, but it is not.
The law in Israel must support Christian schools, paying all the costs of their students.
Our schools are religious and they exist since the creation of the State of Israel. And we do follow the law. Our request is that the law be applied. We are not asking for help, for any privileges, nor are we asking for mercy, but we insist on the fact that there is a law and it must be applied for everyone.”

The negative outcome of the meeting that took place in the office of the Israeli Prime Minister on September 9, was announced by representatives of the Christian Schools in the press conference held this afternoon at the Christian Media Center, in the presence of the Church authorities and many local and foreign newspapers.
The bids placed on the negotiating table by the Jewish state which are to compensate the families with 5 percent, and to grant schools to request a greater contribution from them, which are the original reasons for the strike, were considered unacceptable.

General Director, Office of Catholic Schools in Israel

“We decided to continue our indefinite strike to achieve the requests of the students and those of our schools. They are entitled, their parents pay taxes, they have the right to receive a good education from the schools. We will continue to support them until they will attain their demands, so that the ministry understands that there are 33 thousand students who need to be attending school, after nine days being on strike. “

Auxiliary bishop of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

“It is very sad to see that negotiations between the Christian schools and the various ministers of finance, education and the office of the Prime Minister have failed today.
This means that our schools will continue being on strike and this is against the interest of 33 thousand students, their parents and their teachers. “

We will thus undertake a series of peaceful protests in order to bring to the attention of the public opinion the problem with the Christian schools.

2015-09-17T13:44:37+00:00September 17th, 2015|Categories: News from the Holy Land|0 Comments