West Silwan elementary school 521.
(photo credit: Melanie Lidman: West Silwan elementary school)
For the second time in a month, 700 elementary school students in the east
Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan were forced to stay home from school due to an
electricity problem that has left the school without power. Students were sent
home yesterday after rain seeped into the temporary electricity box and cut
electricity to the school.
At the beginning of January, the school was
without power for 22 days due to a similar problem, which the municipality has
tried to fix in previous years. Most of the 22 days the students were on
vacation, so the problem went unnoticed.
Following an inquiry into the
problem by The Jerusalem Post
in early January, the municipality sent a
technical crew the next day to try to fix it. But on Wednesday, Faris Khales,
the head of the Silwan Parents Committee, expressed frustration that the workers
were progressing very slowly.
He also criticized the city for not
providing the school with a back-up generator during the
“They are not making any effort, so the kids are staying at
home,” he said.
A municipality spokesman said a technical crew from the
city’s education branch was working in cooperation with workers from the
Electric Company to fix the problem, and they hoped students would be able to
return to classes on Thursday.
The spokesman added that the students will
most likely make up the lost hours of school during their spring vacation.