November 6, 2010
In Israel, it appears, not only is success in life a question of location, location, location, it's also a function of which ethnic group you belong to.
A report on Ynet, in Hebrew, has shown that the state invests 54 shekels per annum (that's just short of a tenner) in children learning in the Arab Bbedouin town of Rahat, in the Negev. In the Jewish Negev town of Yerucham, it's 5,400 shekels per child per annum, while in affluent Raanana, in the centre of the country, it's a relatively massive 14,000 shekels per annum, per child.
Another article on the same website, this time in English, reports:
As opposed to comfortable learning conditions in Omer, Bedouin students attending nearby Segev Shalom high school study in overcrowded caravans with no air-condition. Teacher: Our goal is that these students attend university, but it's not easy
The Omer Comprehensive High School boasts beautiful lawns, marble walls, class schedules on plasma screens, soccer fields and a gym, a student radio station, a NIS 14.5 million (about $4 million) annual budget and an 80% matriculation eligibility rate.
The Segev Shalom High School is located just 12 kilometers (about 7.4 miles) away, but there the students study in overcrowded caravans with no air-conditioning. The matriculation eligibility rate at the Bedouin town's school stands at 40%, and the students do not even dream of a gym. This is how the Israeli education system perpetuates inequality.
Not apartheid quite yet. But getting there.