East Jerusalem, Peripheral Schools Facing Severe Resource Shortages

The section of yesterday's state comptroller report on education found a serious shortage of resources in schools in peripheral and working-class communities, particularly in East Jerusalem.

"The Education Ministry and Jerusalem Municipality have not done their duties in providing residents of the eastern city with sufficient classrooms for state education," the report said, citing a shortage of some 1,000 classrooms in that part of the city.

"The heads of the Education Ministry and the municipality did not act determinedly, as they should have, to allow these students to fulfill their rights as permanent residents of the State of Israel - the legal right to education has been denied to many children and youths in East Jerusalem," it said.

The report added that most classrooms in East Jerusalem were unfit for use, and some facilities used as schoolrooms were never designed for that purpose.

Some 490,000 students were in danger of dropping out of school nationwide last year, but only 60,000 of those received special counseling from certified education officials to keep them in school, the report said.

Also, many schools do not teach mandatory subjects like Hebrew, Arabic and geography, or do not teach these subjects the number of hours required by the Education Ministry.

In addition, classes are often taught by teachers trained to teach other subjects.