Education Ministry Official: 9,000 Arab-Israeli Pupils Aged 12-18 Have Police Records

YERUSHALAYIM -

During a meeting of the Education Committee that was held on Tuesday ahead of the opening of the 2021-2022 school year in the Arab sector, Abdullah Khatib, Director of Arab Education in the Education Ministry, said 9,000 Arab-Israeli pupils aged 12-18 have police records, and 121,700 pupils aged 6-18, constituting some 52% of all students in Arab society, are defined as high-risk students.

According to Khatib, in order to “save the lives of these students,” a personal tutor will be assigned to each of them. He further said that parents in the Arab sector must be more involved in their children’s education. “Some of the parents are not interested in their children’s education,” he said.

In his briefing, Khatib said there are currently 288,768 students in the education system in Arab society. 30,297 students in 558 schools were given computers during the past school year, he noted.

Shihab Aldin, a representative of the National Student and Youth Council, said, “Over the past two days we lost four teenagers due to violence in Arab society. How are we supposed to begin the school year while are friends are being killed? Students are afraid to go to school for fear that they will be killed. The schools have become violent places, filled with weapons. We need guards at the schools and apparatus that will help identify students who are carrying weapons. We have no youth movements and no budgets. Arab teens forget their dreams.”

Education Committee Chair MK Sharren Haskel (New Hope) said that in light of the data, the committee would hold an emergency meeting on violence in the education system in the Arab sector. “There is an entire sector of students who are afraid to wake up in the morning and go to school,” she said. “We may have to use magnetometers at the entrance to schools.”

MK Ali Salalha (Meretz) said Arab education would not progress as long as the local Arab authorities are collapsing. “We have no culture centers, and we do not have the functions that can shape the character of the Arab student,” he said. “The student will roam the streets if he will not have something to do. We have to examine how to strengthen the local authorities and the schools. The schools are in a catastrophic situation; there are 35-40 students in every classroom.”