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Israels Education System: Its Place in the Conflict

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Document pages: 40 pages

Abstract: Israel s education system disadvantages it s Arab citizens. I show how this occurs, and why it is in both the Jewish and Arab interests to address this problem. I describe the structure of Israel s education system, and it s convoluted funding mechanisms, particularly the processes which bring private funds into the system. I describe unequal funding for the Jewish and Arab sectors to the extent the published data allows. I show that as there are less private funds in Arab hands, increased reliance on private funds reduces the quality of education offered to Arab students compared with Jewish counterparts, and widens the performance gaps between them. At the present level of privatisation, the poorest Arab municipalities lack sufficient revenue to maintain adequate schools and educational experiences for their students. I show that decisions to increase the significance of privates funds in the system and downloading central government functions to local school administrations has intensified and will continue to intensify the unequal status between Jews and Arabs in Israeli society. I defend the conclusion with evidence of unequal inputs into the educational system and various calculations of performance outputs of Jewish and Arab students. I consider the special situation of Arab women and how traditional pressures as well as governmental programming obstruct their ability to reach their full educational and social potential in Israeli society. I assess Israel’s education system in the context of how Israel views itself, and also as reported to various United Nations bodies pursuant to Israel’s international obligations. I explain why Israeli strategies to assist its Arab minority to achieve its full potential in Israeli society would be in Israel’s self-interest and in the Jewish self-interest. I conclude with specific recommendations for legislative and administrative reforms to bring the educational system into line with what Israel says it wants to achieve. I show that the suggested changes will help close the performance gaps between Arab and Jewish citizens of Israel, contribute to the development of a stronger Israeli economy and are likely to attract greater loyalty to Israel from Israel’s Arab citizens.

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