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Holy Land: Agreement reached on Christian schools

The Secretary of Christian Schools in Israel and the ministry of Education reached a agreement on Sunday. After three weeks of strike, 33,000 students are back to school. The strike was called when the Israeli government announced last month that it was cutting funding to all Christian schools and at the same time cutting the amount schools were allowed to charge students. This meant that Christian schools could not afford to stay open.

The official statement of the Secretary of Christian Schools follows:

By the grace of God and after long negotiations, the Secretariat announces that it has reached a settlement with the Ministry of Education and therefore the students of the 47 schools in Israel who number 33,000 will return to school tomorrow (Monday 28 September) after being on strike since 1 September.

The secretariat announces that the terms of the settlement are as follows:

1-The Israeli Treasury will allocate a one-time sum of 50 Million Shekel to the Christian Schools in the current school year.

2- Our teachers will be included in the different professional development programs of the ministry of education that they were previously excluded from.

3- Our students will be included in the additional strengthening hours provided by the ministry of Education for different subjects- hours that they did not get in the past.

4- The establishment of an official commission from the Ministry of Education and representatives of the Secretariat (equal representatives of each side). Chairman of commission will be appointed by both sides. This commission will bring forward its recommendations to the minister of Education by the end of March 2016. This commission will discuss the legal status of the Christian schools in Israel - a matter that will impact the funding of the schools.

5- The Establishment of a joint commission for cooperation between the Ministry for Education and representatives of the Secretariat to deal with matters that will be raised by both parties.

6- The ministry of Education will pay the monthly payments for the Christian schools as usual and the schools will commit to compensate the students for the days lost during the strike.

Therefore each Christian school will reduce the tuition by 25% for the Primary school students.

We see this as a wonderful achievement as we have not only got a one-time sum but that the establishment of a committee that will deal with the change of the legal status of the schools will be established and that will bring a long term solution.

The support we got during the last month in the Government and Knesset as well as abroad in addition to the public exposure in Israeli and international media will provide a platform to implement any positive recommendations that the commission will have for Christian schools.

"If God is with us, then who will be against us?"

With Love and respect

The Secretariat of Christian Schools in Israel

See earlier story: ICN 24 August 2015 - Israel: Government restrictions may force Christian schools to close


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