Christian schools in Israel will stay closed tomorrow on the start of the new academic year in a strike in protest against “discriminatory” policies by the Israeli state.
Budget cuts imposed by the Tel Aviv government in fact over the years forced the Christian schools to progressively increase fees for the families, causing difficulties especially for those – mostly Arabs – who struggle to survive, with incomes below the national average.
A difficult negotiation failed just before the summer between representatives of the Christian schools and Israeli ministry of Education, when the government proposed the institutes become state schools. A proposal categorically rejected, saying in a statement that joining the public school system would mean “the end of the Christian, value-based educational enterprise and even a critical blow to the Christian minority in the Holy Land”. The Christian Schools Committee confirms that it remains determined and assures that it will only stop the protest after all demands are met.
Christian schools – recognized by the ministry of Public Education, but not public – are attended by some 30,000 students each year, both Christians and Muslims. The majority of them were active before the constitution of the state of Israel and receive partial funding from the ministry, with the balance of the budget paid by the parents.