A majority of Arab schools in Israel went on strike for one day to show support for Christian school protesting fund cuts.
Around 450,000 Arab students in the country did not go to school Monday, while the Mossawa centre Head Jafar Farah said that the ministry had pressured teachers in some schools to hold classes. According to Israel’s education ministry, most of the Arab schools in the country had observed the strike.
As many as 47 Catholic schools in Israel have gone on strike since the beginning of the academic year on Sept. 1 as school officials and parents accuse the Israeli government of discrimination while funding the institutions.
“We are demanding that the state give us 200 million shekels ($53 million) per year,” to make up the difference and cover costs,” AFP quoted schools official Wadie Abunassar, who took part in a rally outside the Prime Minister’s Office Sunday.
Thousands of people took part in the rally outside the Prime Minister’s Office. The leaders of the Catholic Church, Muslim and Christian parents, Arab mayors and Knesset members also participated in the demonstration.
According to Haaretz, church schools in Israel are in the “recognized but unofficial” category, which means that those schools are not a part of the state school system even though those are accredited by the government. Those schools receive 75 percent of the funding given to regular state schools.
However, according to Christian school officials, only a third of the subsidies allotted to Jewish schools is given to Christian schools. The officials said that they would continue to be on strike until the demands were met. The strike is estimated to have affected 33,000 students, with Muslim students consisting 40 percent of the total number.