Classroom Construction in Jerusalem, 2008-17.
(photo credit: JERUSALEM INSTITUTE FOR POLICY RESEARCH)
Government Resolution 3790 calls for the allocation of billions of shekels dedicated to reducing economic and social gaps between the eastern and western neighborhoods of Jerusalem. One way of measuring these gaps is by looking at the number of new classrooms in the Jerusalem school system.
In the years between 1989 and 2017, 885 new classrooms were built for the Arab sector of Jerusalem. In contrast, 1,007 new classrooms were built for non-haredi Jewish schools in Jerusalem and 1,198 new classrooms were added for the Haredi community in Jerusalem.
It’s even more interesting to break down the statistics and look at building levels for each individual year. For example, between 1989 and 1999, only 316 new classrooms were built in the eastern part of the city, in contrast with 562 classrooms (44% more) in the Jewish areas. In the year 2000 alone, however, 104 new classrooms were constructed for the Arab sector, which closed the gap slightly for that year.
In the decade between 2007 and 2017, it appears that there was an overall slowdown of classroom building in all parts of the city. During this decade, a total of only 882 new classrooms were created throughout the entire city, compared with 1,460 classrooms built during the previous decade (1996-2006). Nonetheless, there are hints that efforts are currently being made to close the gap between and make improvements in schools in the Arab sector.
Of the 831 classrooms that were built between 2008 and 2017, 257 of them were for non-haredi Jewish schoolchildren (30%), 231 for haredi schoolchildren (27%) and 343 for Arab schoolchildren (41%). If we compare the first half of the decade (2008-2012) with the second half of the decade (2013-2017), we can see a clear trend of increased investment in the Arab sector. This allocation of increased funding for education in the Arab sector is compatible with the passing of government Resolution 3790, which is aimed at reducing economic and social gaps between the eastern and western neighborhoods of Jerusalem. Translated by Hannah Hochner.
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