Education is important!
Education is very important to many Israelis. The aim is to lead as many children as possible through to high school. Childcare in kindergarten begins at the age of three. This visit is not compulsory, only the last year of kindergarten before primary school should all Israeli children attend. School attendance costs nothing in state schools.
The primary school goes until the end of 6th grade. The children then attend secondary school, which is split up into junior high school – grades 7 to 9 – and senior high school – grades 10 to 12. There is no separation by type of school in Israel, as is the case with us in grammar school or secondary school. The contrasts in Israel become clear here, too, because there are many more Jewish or Christian children in Israel than Muslim children. Their schooling is often poor.
The Israeli high school diploma is called Bagrut and 50 out of 100 children finish school with it. But only those who have a really good qualification have a good chance of further training. By the way, all Israelis have to go to the military after school, young men for three years and young women for two years.
In Israel, a country located in Middle East according to holidaysort, success in school depends on which family a child is born into. Many children have to take extra tuition in order to get along well in school. Teachers are often paid less than is usual in other industrialized countries.
The classes are large, in state schools up to 40 children share a teacher. The result: the business of tutoring is good business and only those who have money can afford it. Large families are often disadvantaged.
Private schools with religious instruction
Many children also go to private religious schools. Only 60 out of 100 children attend a public school. These private schools – especially those of the Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox Jews – are increasing. In Orthodox schools, girls and boys are taught separately. Sometimes the separation begins in kindergarten.
The ultra-Orthodox schools have the largest share of private schools. Here the students are primarily instructed in religious topics. There are no normal school subjects like math or bio here. The proportion of these schools is increasing. But there are also private schools that are run by religious groups but that also offer normal classes.
Separate worlds – separate schools
But not only boys and girls are sometimes taught separately. There are also Jewish, Arab and Druze schools in Israel. The children in the Arab schools learn in the Arabic language and have different classes than Jewish children in their schools. Religious instruction – Muslim in this case – also differs, of course.
The separation is also related to the fact that Jews and Arabs often live in different regions of a city. So the children go to school in their district. That is why the separation of Arab and Jewish children begins very early and continues into adulthood. And in the autonomous Palestinian territories like Gaza and the West Bank there are special schools for the Palestinian children.
What is a hand-in-hand school?
At the Max Rayne Hand in Hand School, a school in the south of Jerusalem, Jewish and Arab children are taught together. Classes are in Hebrew and Arabic.
This is the only bilingual school in Jerusalem so far. The books are also written in both languages and the school recognizes all holidays, both Muslim and Jewish. Then there will probably be a lot more school-free!
The everyday life of children
Children’s everyday life is different in every country in the world. In Israel it is also different because there are not only children from poorer or richer families, but also children from Jewish and Arab families. The everyday life of the children in both groups differs considerably.
The everyday life of children in the Palestinian autonomous territories is still different, which in turn is completely different (see also: Everyday Jewish Child – Palestinian Child).
Children pay the price
Children pay the price for adult violence. It is the same in Israel and Palestine. Not only are children injured in attacks, but their lives are determined by the constant conflict between adults.
Children in the autonomous Palestinian territories are particularly at risk of poverty. These are areas where most of the Palestinians live and where there is a lot of hopelessness and violence. But since areas here are repeatedly being completely destroyed, the children are the first to feel this. 60 out of 100 people who live in the Gaza Strip, for example, are children and young people.