ACRI Submits Two Petitions on Behalf of East Jerusalem Children

17 Children Left without Places in Public Schools; Building Housing Shuafat Elementary Poses Major Health Risk to Pupils

JERUSALEM – September 24, 2008 ­- The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) this week submitted two petitions protesting the severe neglect of East Jerusalem’s public schools by the Jerusalem Municipality and Israel’s Education Ministry.

On September 24, ACRI, Adam Teva V’Din-Israel Union for Environmental Defense, and representatives of the local parents’ committee petitioned the Jerusalem Administrative Court demanding that the Jerusalem Municipality find an alternate location for the Shuafat Boys’ School in the neighborhood of Ras Hamis, currently located next to a metal factory in a former goat pen.

Israel’s Health Ministry and ACRI, on visits to the school, both found that because of health and environmental risks, the building is not suitable to house a school. In addition, pupils complained of strong headaches, vomiting and dizziness, and a pungent scent of metal. Despite these alarming phenomena, the Municipality decided to continue to conduct classes in the building. In the photo: The Shuafat Boys’ school in Ras Hamis. (Click on the photo to enlarge.)

On September 22, ACRI Attorneys Tali Nir and Nisreen Alyan submitted a petition to the Jerusalem Administrative Court on behalf of 17 school-aged East Jerusalem children for whom the Jerusalem Municipality did not find places in public schools. As a result of the lack of public classrooms in East Jerusalem, some of the petitioning children had to enroll in private schools, forcing their parents to pay costly tuition fees; others remain at home, outside of any educational framework.

In the petition, ACRI demands that the Jerusalem Municipality find places for these children immediately in public schools, provide them with remedial classes for the courses they’ve missed, and reimburse parents for the payment of private-school tuition fees.

This is the third consecutive year that ACRI has petitioned the Jerusalem Administrative Court on behalf of East Jerusalem children without places in public schools.

For background information on ACRI’s actions to reverse the education crisis in East Jerusalem, click on this link.

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Categories: East Jerusalem, Social and Economic Rights, The Occupied Territories, The Right to Education

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