This is how the schools in Jerusalem look like. It is not quite surprising to see the excavations of settlement organizations, but this is not the most essential matter.
It is true that the schools of Jerusalem are suffering from quite a few problems, but the most important one is that they are missing 24,000 students whose fate is still unknown.
According to official data, there are 106,534 kids between the age of 5 and 18 years old in eastern Jerusalem, including 68,018 who go to school, which means a loss of more than 20,000 students, in addition to 3,806 5-year-old students.
“This is due, in the first place, to the implemented policy that has no social awareness. Those students are in the streets and they are most probably underage workers. The majority that is not going to school is either working or wandering in the parks,” political activist Fakhri abu Diab said.
Jerusalem schools are divided into four types: state, state-religious, Independent and Arab schools. Each class in Eastern Jerusalem schools contains 33 students in comparison with an average of 23 students in western Jerusalem.
4,000 students are obliged to cross many checkpoints in order to attend their classes that are located in different regions. Moreover, the teaching board is missing 1,100 additional classes.
“The lack of classrooms was the most important reason behind the students’ nonattendance. The highest nonattendance rate is in the secondary school where it has reached an average of 54 percent,” Fares al-Khales, expert in education issues in Jerusalem and the chairman of the parents committee, said.
Ishrat Mimoun, of Ir Amim human rights organization said the situation is really bad and they suffer from classrooms deficiency. Some schools are even located in apartments.
These numbers remain imprecise in the light of the difficulties faced to get the exact statistics. Therefore, many consider that the education problem in eastern Jerusalem is much more severe in reality.