J'lem: Students stuck in sweltering tents

Some 90 girls from Jerusalem's Bait Ve'Gan Beit Yaakov School forced to study in tents in unbearable heat due to overcrowded classrooms. Parents blame city officials, who claim in turn: Ministry's jurisdiction

The new school year kicked off this week but for some, it was a less than comfortable back to school experience as some 90 girls from the Bait Ve'Gan Beit Ya'akov School in Jerusalem were forced to take their classes in tents in the sweltering heat.


The girls, ages six to 10 are forced to squeeze in to the tents – which have no proper furnishings or ventilation all because the Jerusalem municipality decided to place girls from other neighborhoods in the sought after Bait Ve'Gan school.


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The crowded classrooms led the city to come up with an innovative if impractical idea – place three tents, each for three classes, outside the school.


האוהל, מבט מבפנים. אין בידוד  (צילום: גיל יוחנן)

The tent classrooms (Photo: Gil Yohanan)


"Studying has become impossible" said one mother, adding "There is no furniture and the girls are suffering from the heat. Moreover, there is no separation between one class and another so there is noise, the teachers find it hard to teach and the girls can't concentrate. The tent is in the school yard so the other girls can't go outside to play."


The parents are pointing a finger in the direction of the Jerusalem Municipality which they claim forced the principal to accept the girls to the school.


"If they would only accept the girls from the neighborhood there would be room for everyone," one father said. "The problem is that girls from the Kiryat Yovel neighborhood come to study here since the municipality refuses to open a school for them (in Kiryat Yovel)."


The situation is has become so unbearable that the possibility of studying in shifts was also raised.


The teachers were also angered by the decision: "It is just shocking, you can't teach this way," one said adding: "These are sub-standard conditions; there are four bathroom stalls for 160 girls."


האוהל בבית יעקב, מבחוץ. מחכים למבנים הניידים

No school yard (Photo: Gil Yohanan) 


The Jerusalem Municipality said in response: "The school is a non-official institution under the jurisdiction of the Education Ministry. Demand (for placement) in the school is high, and the municipality is working to absorb the neighborhood girls. The tent solution is a short term one until the temporary structures in which the girls will be able to complete the school year are in place."


The Education Ministry stated that the matter was under the Jerusalem Municipality's jurisdiction.




פרסום ראשון: 08.30.12, 14:51
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