Some 1,500 students in the Bedouin community of Tel-Sheva have yet to start the school year due to classroom shortage, safety dysfunctions and changes in registration regions, forcing some students to travel to far away schools.
Hundreds of parents and students of the al-Resalah Elementary School and Alon Junior High demonstrated Tuesday in front of the Education Ministry in Beersheba calling to end disagreements and start the school year.
Residents Association Chairman Khaled al-Assam told Ynet, "We ask that junior high students be reinstated in the community and that more caravans are brought. There is a shortage of classrooms in the elementary school and the kids are studying in shelters, labs and in the outdoors."
Parents and students' rally (Photo: Ilana Curiel)
One protestor said that he does not believe a condition like this would have arisen in Jewish local councils." I am embarrassed of the fact that kids are still stuck at home instead of being at school," he said.
One reason for the change in registration regions of the Tel-Sheva pupils is due to tribal disputes within the community. As a result, many students are forced to attend schools in other communities.
The junior high, however, suffers from dilapidating buildings and vandalism and was deemed unfit for studies by an engineer. The local council promised to renovate the property by the end of the High Holidays and in the meantime students were directed to study in alternative locations.
Khalil abu-Rekake, who is in charge of education in the Tel-Sheva council said he regrets to hear of the protest as the junior high building had indeed been renovated as promised.
"We added classrooms in the elementary school in order to take in all of the pupils without moving them to other locations." Rekake further added, "This strike is unjustified, redundant and causes damage to the students. We urge the parents to reinstate their children into the schools."