Arab parents accuse ministry of racism

According to the report, the Arab children were supposed to begin the school year at the Korczak state school, which caters for 70 children requiring "special education" because of learning difficulties.

By MIRIAM BULWAR DAVID-HAY
December 9, 2007 08:12
1 minute read.

 
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Arab parents in Haifa are accusing the Education Ministry and the management of one local school of racism after their children were expelled from the school because they do not speak Hebrew, reports Yediot Haifa. The parents are asking why an alternative framework has not been found for their children, and say they cannot afford private lessons. According to the report, the Arab children were supposed to begin the school year at the Korczak state school, which caters for 70 children requiring "special education" because of learning difficulties. But with the Arab children unable to speak Hebrew, and with the teachers mostly unable to speak Arabic, it was decided to remove them from the school. The newspaper said parents are questioning why a suitable alternative has not been found for the children over the past three months. "The Education Ministry has thrown our children out into the streets like dogs," one angry father said, adding that he did not have the money to send his child to a private school or to arrange private lessons at home. "Just because he is an Arab, doesn't he have the right to have an education just like every other Israeli?" the father said. "The boy is wandering the streets and can be exposed to crime, drugs and burglaries. They didn't throw out Jewish children who weren't suitable for the school; they chose only Arab children and threw all of them out." An Education Department spokeswoman said it was not true that all the Arab children in the school had been taken out, saying that only those unable to communicate in Hebrew had been removed. She denied the accusations of racism, saying there were "numerous" Arab children at Jewish state schools throughout Israel. But there was no reported answer as to why an alternative has not been found for the expelled students. The spokeswoman added that there is an overall problem for Arab children in Israel, who go to elementary schools where they speak Arabic and study the Koran, and then transfer to junior high schools where they speak Hebrew and study Bible.

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