Gov't proposes to end student strike

Students continue strike into Tuesday; three detained in clashes with police.

student strike 2 298 (photo credit: Courtesy)
student strike 2 298
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The government submitted a draft proposal to student leaders Monday in hope to put an end to the 18 day-long strike at universities and colleges around the country, Army Radio reported. In the draft, of which only one clause out of nine was allowed for publication, the government offered to freeze tuition fees for one year and to only begin reforms within the universities and colleges in 2009. They also offered to increase the resources for higher education, but did not elaborate. In an interview with the Jerusalem Post, a senior student official who wished to remain anonymous said that as of now, the student leadership objects to the current proposal as it does not comply with their wishes, namely: freezing tuition for the next two years and an eventual decrease in fees. "If we agree to this," the official said, "an absurd situation would occur: a new student would pay a different, higher tuition fee than a student already enrolled, whose fee would stay the same. This is something we totally object to as higher education must be equal and made accessible to all." Following last week's violent clashes between police and students, the official said that they were collecting eye-witness reports from students and are considering pressing charges, but stressed that as of now their main concern was with the government. Meanwhile, three students were detained by police Monday after more clashes outside Rehovot's Agricultural College. The students announced they were continuing to strike on Tuesday.