At least 5,200 Arab children in the Negev area are not included in any educational system, a growing phenomenon that has marred the Arab dominated region located in southern Israel for the past years.
Local Arab authorities highlighted the issue last year stating that 40 per cent of Negev’s Arab children have not been enrolled in any educational systems. Parents often chose not to enrol their children in schools due to their tough living conditions and because it is difficult for them to access schools located in distant towns.
The phenomenon has persisted for years, with the education ministry claiming that it cannot build schools in areas with an unclear status, adding that this task is the responsibility of the interior ministry’s Bedouin Development Authority.
Dr Awad Abu Frih, an activist and defender of the rights of Negev’s Bedouins, told Arab48 that Israel’s “race-based discrimination policy” is not new or an exception, but a “systematic” policy exercised against Negev’s Arabs to push them to leave their homeland.
“The education and interior ministries use our children politically… to pressure families into leaving their towns and to evacuate them from their villages and have them join the so-called civil cities, with the aim of taking control over the land and the place.”