A 5-year, 6 billion-shekel education budget for Israel’s Arab sector will provide for thousands of new classrooms, improved Hebrew instruction and, for the first time, studies in Arab identity, according to Haaretz.
The budget, which is part of the overall 30 billion-shekel package for Arab Israelis approved by the Cabinet in October, is being finalized and should be ready for unveiling in a few weeks.
With parity as one of its main goals, the educational component of the five-year plan calls for about a quarter of the Education Ministry’s budget to be allocated for the Arab community, roughly reflecting the percentage of Arab students in the country’s general student population.
About 2.4 million shekels of the funding is being earmarked for the construction of 4,300 new classrooms and preschools in Arab cities and towns, as well as to renovate existing structures.
Instruction in both Arabic and Hebrew is reportedly a priority, as they are recognized to be essential for future employment and integration in Israeli society.
The report gave no details on the content of Arab identity studies under consideration.