Jerusalem allocates NIS 80m. for classroom renovations as school year begins

Initiative aims to work toward reducing "education gaps in the Arab and Haredi sectors".

girl in class 370 (photo credit: Reuters)
girl in class 370
(photo credit: Reuters)
The Jerusalem Municipality announced this week it will allocate some NIS 80 million for classroom renovations all over the city for the 2013- 2014 school year, which began on Tuesday.
According to the plan, Mayor Nir Barkat instructed the municipality to invest an additional NIS 9m. in ensuring that all schools are equipped with air conditioning; some NIS 6m. in repairs for students’ safety; and an additional NIS 2m. for the renovation of kindergarten playgrounds.
An extra NIS 2m. will be allocated to regulating accessibility in schools and NIS 3m. will be dedicated to upgrading computer systems and providing computer programs for teachers.
As part of the initiative, the city will also be opening 121 new classrooms in east Jerusalem as part of its plan to “continue to reduce the education gaps in the Arab and haredi sectors.”
The new facilities include 16 kindergarten classrooms; a new elementary school building in Ras al-Amud with nine classrooms; an additional 10 classrooms in a Shuafat school; 14 more classrooms in Sawarha; and two school buildings – one elementary and one high school – of 24 classrooms each in Beit Hanina, which are expected to be inaugurated on Thursday.
About 250 additional classrooms for Arab education institutions are also in the planning for the coming years.
In the haredi sector, Jerusalem is expected to inaugurate an elementary school building with 24 classrooms later this year.
As millions of children went back to school this week, the municipality also recorded an increase of over 1,200 kindergarten and elementary school pupils in the city’s state school system, secular and religious.
According to the enrollment figures, secular and religious public kindergartens will host some 700 new children, a seven percent increase compared to the previous school year, bringing the number of pupils enrolled in those kindergartens to 11,063.
State and state-religious elementary schools in the capital will include 24,111 students, 500 of whom are new students, a two percent increase from the last school year.
Barkat noted that the increase in the number of students in Jerusalem has been “continuous, strong and persistent” over the past three years and is “truly good news for all city residents and young families in particular.”
In total this year, over 130,000 students will be studying in the public secular and religious school systems all over the city. About 100,000 students will study in the independent haredi education system.