Ilona Drewry

Important Lessons: Integrated Education in the State of Israel

The current public education system in Israel mirrors the wider divisions in society. It is divided into separate sectors: religious Jewish, secular Jewish, Orthodox Jewish and Arab. Although roughly one quarter of Israel’s 1.6 million schoolchildren are Arab, their parallel education system reveals fundamental inequality. The 2001 Human Rights Watch report “Second Class: Discrimination against Palestinian Arab Children in Israel’s Schools” details the extent of the inequalities in funding, facilities, teacher-student ratios. Integrated schools represent a glimmer of light in this picture of a discriminatory and segregated education system.