Gaza, Alray - Israeli Occupation Authority decided on Tuesday to implement an Israeli-approved curriculum in private Arab schools in East Jerusalem and remove Palestinian textbooks.
Israeli sources reported that a meeting between the heads of Arab schools and Israelis took place in Herzliya city where the idea of implementing an Israeli-approved curriculum and applying the Bagrut ' Matriculation' are suggested.
Earlier this year, the Jerusalem municipality sent a letter to the heads of private schools ,that are allocated funds from Israeli authorities , in which they instructed the schools to only use textbooks prepared by the Jerusalem Educational Administration, a joint body of the municipality and the Israeli Ministry of Education.
The response has culminated in strikes and campaigns fighting the decision and many private schools have threatened to close amid refusal to adopt the new measures. However, five Arab private schools accepted the Israeli-approved curriculum , the Israeli municipality has decided to reward departments of these schools by giving more increment and 2000NIS to schools for each students enrolled in these schools.
Sources reported that these schools are Sur Baher for males, Sur Baher for females , Ibn Khaldun, Ibn Rushd, and Abdullah Bin Al Hussein.
Abdel Karim Lafi, Head of the Parents' Committee Union said " We received today a book that was assigned to private schools -- a book for the fourth grade titled: "We Think, We Express". All the writers featured in this book are Israeli. This shows private schools are now receiving Israeli curriculum, not just distorted versions of the Palestinian curriculum," adding that "This is the first step towards erasing everything that is Palestinian in this city."
Jerusalemite lawyer, Shirin Issawi wrote in her Facebook page saying that implementing Israeli- approved curriculum is more dangerous than storming Al-Aqsa mosque or demolishing houses or even canceling the ID. The new curriculum teaching the students that Israeli municipality seeking to organize buildings and gives building permits, claiming that the Jerusalemites themselves are anarchists, Issawi added.
The General Manager of the Government Media Office, Salamah Ma'rouf called on UNESCO to stop this action as it violates the basic Palestinian students' rights to learn a Palestinian – proved curriculum.
Palestinian students and members of the school system in Jerusalem held three days of protests between Tuesday [September 13] and Thursday [September 15] and have threatened to extend their strike until the new measures are reversed.
The move to change the East Jerusalem curriculum came after Israeli parliament member Alex Miller from Yisrael Beiteinu party said in a meeting 'unauthorized' curricula was being studied in Palestinian East Jerusalem schools. He said "the whole curriculum should and must be Israeli."
Miller heads the Knesset's committee on education.
After Israel annexed East Jerusalem following the 1967 conflict -- a move that was not recognized internationally -- Palestinians in the city followed the Jordanian educational system.
When Palestinians and Israelis signed the Oslo agreement schools in East Jerusalem began using a curriculum set by the Palestinian Authority.
Based on 2010-2011 statistics by the East Jerusalem Education Directorate, the Israeli Jerusalem municipality runs 50 schools in East Jerusalem, which are attended by 48 percent of Palestinian students in the city.
Additionally, 52 percent of students attended 68 private, Waqf and Palestinian Authority schools in the holy city.