Jerusalem to invest NIS 1 billion to build 1,000 new classrooms

Barkat: We have created a groundbreaking, out-of-the-box financial model for constructing classrooms in the city.

By
April 26, 2017 16:54
2 minute read.
Classroom

Classroom. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

The Jerusalem Municipality on Wednesday announced a “breakthrough” NIS 1 billion initiative to construct 1,000 classrooms throughout the capital to address the pronounced shortage of schools.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said he devised a “unique financial model” to fund the construction, which various financial bodies led by Bank Leumi will utilize to raise the money needed.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


“We have created a groundbreaking, out-of-the-box financial model for constructing classrooms in the city, which is excellent news for our residents,” Barkat said in a statement. “It is our utmost responsibility to provide each student with the proper tools, and an environment to succeed in their studies.”

According to Barkat, the Interior Ministry approved NIS 370 million for the project last week, allowing for immediate construction of approximately 370 classrooms.

“For the past few years, the city has suffered from a shortage of approximately 3,800 classrooms, as determined by a recent mapping project of the city’s educational system: 505 in the general sector, 1,938 in the Arab sector and 1,410 in the haredi [ultra-Orthodox] sector,” he said.

“The cost of closing this gap is estimated at roughly NIS 5b. This shortage is the result of a number of interrelated factors, including a lack of state funding and a city growth rate that dictates the need for an additional 186 classrooms per year,” he added.

Barkat noted that construction of the classrooms, which he plans to expedite, will save the municipality an annual sum of approximately NIS 140m., which the city currently spends to lease temporary classroom facilities in the capital.



“The new, expedited process will take between 18 months and two years, shortening the current process by roughly a year,” he said. “In parallel, the director- general of the municipality is leading a newly established administration to execute the planning, execution and financing of the construction of thousands of missing kindergarten and school classrooms.”

The municipal company Moriya will be in charge of planning and building the classrooms and will work with the Local Government Economic Services Ltd, which is already engaged in building educational institutions throughout the city.

The new classrooms will be built along with laboratories, libraries, activity areas and other state-of-the-art facilities, the mayor said, adding that his plan was designed to sidestep lengthy bureaucratic procedures.

“We will not be deterred by red tape and we will not wait forever for the funds for these classrooms to arrive from the government,” Barkat said. “The students of Jerusalem deserve better.”

“I would like to thank the Interior Ministry and Bank Leumi for joining us in our efforts,” he said.

“We can now roll up our sleeves and get to work.”

Related Content

Elor Azaria
August 14, 2018
Police deny Elor Azaria’s request for gun license

By TAMARA ZIEVE