Hadassah College campus 370.
(photo credit: Yagil Tzebaoni)
Some 53 technological colleges across the country began a strike on Sunday,
calling on the government to allocate more funds to their operation.
colleges request that the Treasury approve a budget of NIS 140 million to be
distributed over five years to technical education, NIS 80m. of which would be
allocated for the current academic year.
After several discussions held
between the parties in recent months, the Finance Ministry agreed to a budget of
NIS 90 million, a solution that was rejected by most of the institutions except
for the technology colleges belonging to the ORT network, which did not go on
strike on Sunday.
Colleges of the Amal network also chose to hold studies
The Forum of Technological Colleges had already suspended
classes for two hours last Monday in protest, and had established a protest tent
in front of the Knesset.
The representative of the forum, Yaakov Dor,
wrote on the Facebook page for the struggle last week that the forum “expects
the minister of finance and the minister of the economy to take responsibility
for a solution to the crisis as soon as possible” and avoid severe damage to the
The National Union of Israeli Students joined the struggle last
week and mobilized with the technological colleges staffs at their protest
encampment in front of the Knesset in order to call on the government to
“immediately find a solution that will prevent the collapse of the colleges and
harm caused to the future of 24,000 students.”
“In recent days, we are
witnessing a wave of layoffs in the economy,” said Ori Reshtick, chairman of the
NUIS. “The government of Israel has the ability to take care of the training of
tens of thousands of young engineers, whom the economy is crying out
Opposition leader and Labor Party MK Shelly Yacimovich also
addressed the issue on Sunday, calling on Finance Minister Yair Lapid to
urgently meet with the heads of technical colleges and “stop draining their
“Their activity greatly contributes to the economic and social
sphere, but in practice they are forced to operate without a budget that allows
them to continue to exist,” Yacimovich said in a statement.
Ministries of Finance and Economy announced in a joint statement that they are
preparing to implement the agreed NIS 90 million multi-year budget for
technological colleges, which they said will lead to a significant change in
practical engineering studies.