The Children's Educational System in 2002-2003

With a minimum of confusion and a joyful ceremony, the school year was opened on Sunday, September 1, 2002, for 241 ıchildren of the Primary School, 34 kindergarten children and 6 children in the nursery.  


The children gathered on the steps at the entrance to the main school building. Music played while first grade children were welcomed by the older children and ıreceived gifts made by each of the classes.ı

The most remarkable change this year was in the management of the School.  Diana Shaloufi-Rizek and Boaz Kita'in concluded their ıterm as co-principals (Diana after three years and Boaz after six).  We are grateful for their dedicated efforts and years of hard work, during a period of great difficulty. ı

Taking their place are two new co-principals, both from outside NSWAS: Maya Karni and Samiha Hijazi.  They had been chosen from among dozens of applicants some months before.

Samiha Hijazi is from the village of Tamra in the North. With a BA from Haifa University in Arabic and Hebrew ılanguages, Samiha also obtained diplomas in management and alternative teaching methods. She conducted courses for teachers in these ısubjects and was also taught Arabic and Hebrew in Tamra's school.ı

Maya Karni lives in Jerusalem. She has an MA in communication and has graduated from ıThe School for Educational Leadership. As a group facilitator she has recently worked with ıgroups of school directors and teachers, including Jewish-Palestinian groups of teachers. Her ıexpertise is in skills of staff development and promoting humanistic approach in education.ı

The enrolment for the 2001-2002 school year is 241 children in the primary school, 34 children in two levels of the ıkindergarten and 6 children in the nursery, all together – 281 children in the educational ısystem.

Financing a binational, bilingual,
tri-cultural educational system

Some 238 children commute from 28 towns and villages outside NSWAS.  They rely upon transportation provided by the school.ı  Since we have been unsuccessful in obtaining a subsidy from State and local municipalities, transportation costs continue to be one of the largest burdens upon the school's budget.

The cost of transporting a child to the school is about $/€118 per child each month. This means that for the school year, our transportation costs come to a whopping $/€280,000. 

Parents already pay up to $/€850 in tuition fees. This is about four ıtimes higher than is paid in regular schools. About 40% of the tuition fees are used to cover transportation costs and the rest goes towards teachers salaries and various school ıservices.

The Children's Educational System in 2002-2003


Enrolment:

 

  School

241 children

  Pre-school

40 children

  Total

281 children

Catchment:

28 communities

Annual tuition fees (maximum):

$/€ 850.00

Educators (sch):

  Full time

26

  Part time

14

Educators (pre-sch)

  Full time

8

  Part time

1

Reductions are given to families with more than one child in the school as well as for ıneedy families (who either pay less or receive an easier payment schedule).

Altogether 26 teachers teach at the Primary School, including 14 full time and 12 part time staff.  In addition there are 8 full-time educators and 1 part-time ısalary post in the kindergarten and nursery.

Being bilingual and tri-cultural, the School requires smaller classes in various subjects, and more teaching hours than are budgeted for a school of our size by the education ministry.  Additional time and energy must be invested to produce the non-standard teaching materials required by the school.

The cost of employing a teacher (full time) is about $/€2,000 per month.  For only about 60% of the teacher's salaries, the ıschool receives Israeli government support.  For the rest, we must seek private funding.

Being binational, the educational system remains open while other schools break for holidays and festivals.  Where holidays happen to coincide, the school can be closed, however in the current school year holidays fall separately, meaning that the school will remain open for a total of 43 weeks; longer than most schools, and raising costs.

Thanks to our supporters

In these difficult days, which are so full of violence and hopelessness, we are grateful to all those who help to maintain this unique educational experiment, where Arab and ıJewish children and teachers learn to know, respect ıand cherish one another.

We thank you for sharing our determination to challenge, in a very practical way, the currents of division, racism and intolerance that flow so strongly in our region.  Throughout the school year we will keep you informed of our successes and the obstacles we still face.