Previous PageTable Of ContentsNext Page


· The Israeli government should recognize that discrimination against Palestinian Arab citizens has been, and continues to be, a major social and political problem in the Israeli education system. The government should measurably improve Palestinian Arab participation in all aspects of decision-making about education policies and resources.

To the Knesset

· Amend Part II, 3B(a) of the Compulsory Education Law and article 5(a) of the Pupils' Rights Law to prohibit discrimination by the national government, as well as by local education authorities and institutions. 

· Fully fund in the annual Budget Law current plans to address inadequacies in Arab education. Where deficiencies in the current plans are found, allocate additional funds to correct these.

To the Ministry of Education

· Adopt and make public a written policy of equality that explicitly prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. The policy should require all Ministry of Education programs and funds to be allocated to all schools, Jewish and Arab, on the basis of a criteria that does not discriminate and, where appropriate, seeks to correct past discrimination. Implement the policy immediately, rather than gradually.

· Restructure the Ministry of Education's current resource allocation (including funds for teaching, and enrichment and remedial programs) so that Jewish and Arab schools are funded on a non-discriminatory basis. Where funds are allocated for all children, Palestinian children should, at minimum, receive funds proportionate to their representation in the population.

· Equalize the average class size and teacher-to-student ratio in Jewish and Arab schools. 

· Allocate additional funding to close the gaps between Jewish and Arab education in all areas, including the physical condition of school buildings; the existence of libraries, laboratories, and recreation facilities; and the availability of kindergartens, vocational education, special education, and teacher training.

· In collaboration with Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics, collect and publish data on total spending for Jewish and for Arab education by sector, as well as spending on individual aspects of education by sector, so that equality in resource distribution may be accurately assessed and monitored.

· Increase the Arab education system's autonomy, along the lines of that granted to state religious, ultra-orthodox, and kibbutz education.

· Promptly increase Palestinian Arabs' representation and participation in all aspects of the Ministry of Education, in particular at the highest levels.

· Respond to the request from the Director General of UNESCO regarding Israel's implementation of the Convention against Discrimination in Education.

· Invite the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education, K. Tomasevski, to Israel to assess the realization of the right to education and, specifically, discrimination against Palestinian Arab citizens.

Needs-Based Spending

· Assess Jewish and Palestinian Arab children's needs, as well as Jewish and Arab schools' needs, on the same scale, and end the use of measurements that are weighted against Palestinian Arab communities, such as the national priority list, to distribute education resources.

· Minimize discretion in the allocation of supplementary programs and increase oversight to ensure that all programs are distributed equally, with full participation by Palestinian Arab educators. In particular, provide enrichment and remedial programs--such as preparation for the matriculation and psychometric exams and programs to prevent dropping out--on an equal basis to Jewish and Arab schools.

Physical Facilities

· Construct all needed classrooms, including the 2,500 classrooms that the Follow-Up Committee on Arab Education estimates are needed in Arab education. Move classes out of rented rooms and buildings. Replace or repair buildings that are dangerous to students.

· Devise and implement a plan to assess and construct each year the classrooms needed in Arab schools, according to standards used for Jewish schools. This plan should include regular classes as well as those for special education.

· Construct new schools in areas where children currently travel long distances to reach the nearest school, regardless of the government's position on the legal status of the parents' residences.

· Construct auxiliary facilities, including libraries, science and computer labs, and sports facilities, in Arab schools so that they reach the same level as Jewish schools. Mandate and ensure that these facilities' quality, including library books, and science and sports equipment, be adequate and equivalent. After Arab schools reach the same level as Jewish schools, allocate all new maintenance and construction funds equally among Arab and Jewish schools.

In-School Social Services

· Provide social services, including counseling, special education services, medical care, and truant officers in Arab schools on an equal basis with Jewish schools.

· Where there are shortages of trained Arabic-speaking professionals, such as psychologists and speech therapists, make available and publicize opportunities for additional training and education.

Vocational/Technological Education

· Adapt all existing schools, both Jewish and Arab, to offer advanced technological education in addition to traditional vocational classes.

· Require private organizations with which the ministry contracts to provide Palestinian Arab and Jewish students with equal access vocational and technological education. Collect and publish data on their compliance.


· Insure that both the curricula and the materials needed to teach them are available in Arabic for all subjects and at every level, including for special education.

· Equalize resources for curriculum development for Arab and Jewish schools.

· Actively seek increased Palestinian Arab participation in the development of curricula for all subjects, including common curricula.

· Develop new curricula contemporaneously in Hebrew and in Arabic, and implement the curricula at the same pace, so that Palestinian Arab students are not left behind.

· Eliminate stereotypes and negative representation of Palestinian Arabs from all curricula.

· Include in all curricula more material on the history and cultural identity of the Palestinian Arab people.


· Build preschools in all Palestinian Arab communities that lack them, including in unrecognized villages.

· Specifically, change the order of implementation of free and compulsory kindergarten for three and four-year-olds to include Palestinian Arab localities equally, taking into consideration the lower attendance rates among Palestinian Arab children and that proportionately fewer Palestinian Arab communities than Jewish communities have kindergartens. All seven recognized Bedouin towns in the Negev should immediately be added to the list.

· Increase the opportunities for teacher training for Palestinian Arab kindergarten teachers.

Special Education

· Provide resources and funding for integration ("mainstreaming") to Arab and Jewish education proportionate to the rate of disability in the sectors. Ensure that all children who need special education services receive them.

· Establish additional Arab special education classes or schools where they are needed.

· Adapt Jewish special education schools for the Palestinian Arab children who attend them, with the full participation of Palestinian Arab educators, parents, and students to make this happen.

· Train additional Palestinian Arab speech therapists.

Teacher Training

· Allocate additional resources for in-service training for Palestinian Arab teachers.

· Hold more teacher training courses in or near Arab schools in consultation with teachers' associations and with Palestinian Arab participation.

· Specifically, offer more training on teaching methods.

· Provide incentives equally to Jewish and Palestinian Arab teachers who teach in areas where the ministry wishes to attract more teachers, such as national priority areas and Negev Bedouin communities.

To Local Governments

· Spend all the monies from the Ministry of Education for education as designated.

· Prioritize the construction of preschools.

To the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

· Set a schedule for states parties to the Convention against Discrimination in Education to submit periodic reports, as provided in article 7 of the convention.

· Issue recommendations, as prescribed in article 6 of the Convention against Discrimination in Education, "defining the measures to be taken against the different forms of discrimination in education and for the purpose of ensuring equality of opportunity and treatment in education."

Previous PageTable Of ContentsNext Page