Ethiopian kids left out of Israel schools
Scores of Ethiopian students in Israel are forced to stay at their homes as principals at private religious schools admit only a limited number of the African kids.
A hundred and sixty Ethiopian kids, whose school had been earlier closed, remained at home despite remarks by the municipality in Petah Tikva, nearly 10.5 km (6.5 miles) east of Tel Aviv, that the reassignment of the students was almost complete, Ha’aretz reported on its website on Tuesday.
Local private religious schools refrained from taking more than a very limited number of children from the Ner Etzion school, almost all of whom are of Ethiopian origin.
Municipal sources admitted that “private schools do not absorb these children,” and “the principals make problems over the few that they do take.”
The Ner Etzion school, meant to be closed gradually, was shut down last week after hundreds of Ethiopian students and their parents gathered outside the school last Thursday to protest the isolation of the Ethiopian kids in the school, which they described as an “Ethiopian ghetto.”
Israel’s Education Ministry ordered the shutdown on Friday, which prompted private school principals to hold an urgent meeting with Petah Tikva Mayor Yitzhak Ohayon, demanding that “the burden of absorbing the [Ethiopian] children not be imposed on them.”
The public religious schools have, meanwhile, said that they would thus be the ones that will be pressured to take the Ethiopian students and become “Ner Etzion 2.”
Israeli parents in the public religious system are also resisting a large absorption of Ner Etzion children, with some vowing not to allow any “immigrant child” until they see the full list of placements.