“Men before their time” .. a Turkish project to support education in Jerusalem

According to official Palestinian reports, the Israeli occupation places the education sector at the heart of the five-year plan (2018-2022) to family education by distorting the content of the Palestinian curriculum, leading to its replacement with the Israeli curriculum by 90% by the end of 2022.

Istanbul- Turkish organizations are making special efforts to save the educational sector in the occupied city of Jerusalem, which is living in an exceptional circumstance in which it faces marginalization and siege on the one hand, and Judaization and familyization on the other.

The project to support education in Jerusalem, launched by the Waqf Al-Ummah, under the title “Men Before Their Time,” seeks to provide solutions to the problem of school dropouts, as statistics say that the percentage of dropouts exceeded 30% of the number of students distributed in 85 Palestinian schools and 125 kindergartens.

The Turkish Endowment – which specializes in supporting Jerusalem affairs – considers supporting the education sector in Jerusalem a priority because of its effective role and tangible impact on the concept of change and development in societies, and for raising a generation that preserves its land and identity by supporting the educational sector in its four pillars (student, teacher, school and curriculum).

Masum Yun: The educational sector in Jerusalem constitutes a qualitative case of steadfastness, given the occupation’s efforts to weaken and domesticate it (Al Jazeera Net)

The areas of the project include supporting the school bag, providing student fees to schools and universities, strengthening the infrastructure in Jerusalem schools, and supporting the Jerusalem curriculum and teacher.

Through the project implemented in 2021, the Waqf supported educational projects in various schools in the city – which included supporting Jerusalemite expatriate students and students of Jerusalem schools and universities – with a package of comprehensive and partial grants, and also implemented a project to sponsor orphans and students with special needs.

The endowment has supported a number of extra-curricular projects that enhance the Jerusalemite student’s abilities to combine knowledge and skill, gain experience and discover abilities, and raise awareness of the Jerusalem environment and its requirements, such as the Young Leaders Project, the Open Education Project, raising human rights awareness, and professional and academic guidance for students.

The Waqf implemented various human development programs through trips, lessons, camps and youth initiatives projects aimed at community service for students in Palestinian schools in Jerusalem.

In the course of developing the learning process and supporting teachers, the Waqf supported a number of qualitative projects, such as the “Teachers Qualification” project, the “Teacher we rise” project, and projects to create decent and permanent job opportunities through the implementation of various extracurricular program projects in schools.

In the same context, the Waqf supported infrastructure projects such as the “Supportive Education” project, which included furnishing schools, rehabilitating classrooms and equipping them with educational technology tools, in addition to helping Jerusalem schools open new libraries, playgrounds and classrooms to alleviate the burden of overcrowding over the educational process.

Jerusalem Education

According to Masoum Yun, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ummah Endowment, the educational sector in the city of Jerusalem constitutes a qualitative case of steadfastness and stability, given the size of the astronomical budgets that the occupation spends to add this sector to its educational system or weaken it, so that its outputs are useless and feasible in strengthening the resilience of society. Al-Maqdisi and preventing its independence with an effective educational system.

Yun says – to Al Jazeera Net – that the occupation is working to domesticate and contain Arab schools, by controlling more than 60% of the total schools in Jerusalem, while the rest of the schools affiliated with the Endowments, UNRWA, and private schools suffer from a severe lack of funding and a significant weakness in infrastructure.

The Turkish official indicated that 38% of Jerusalem schools are located in rented buildings that lack the required specifications for the safety of the educational process, with their urgent need to increase classrooms, explaining that the Palestinian schools of Jerusalem suffer from a deficit of 2,548 classrooms.

According to official Palestinian reports, the Israeli occupation places the education sector at the heart of the five-year plan (2018-2022), for which more than 2 billion and 100 million shekels have been allocated, of which 445 million shekels have been allocated to family education by distorting the content of the Palestinian curriculum, leading to its replacement with the Israeli curriculum. Bagrut” will increase by 90% by the end of 2022.

The occupation also commits many violations against the educational sector, including setting up military checkpoints on the students’ way, attacking schools, throwing gas and sound bombs in or near them, and depriving Arab schools in Jerusalem of adequate budgets, which makes classrooms suffer from overcrowding and pressure.

According to the data of the Palestinian Initiative to Deepen Global Dialogue and Democracy (MIFTAH), 40,000 male and female students, who constitute about 50% of the Palestinian student population in Jerusalem, study in the Israeli Al-Maaref and municipal schools, which teach either a distorted Palestinian curriculum or an Israeli curriculum (Bajrut) that contradicts their national culture and social environment. .

Data published by the Jerusalem Educational Forum indicate that the number of schools teaching the Israeli curriculum in whole or in part in the 2017/2018 academic year was 12 schools attended by 5,800 Palestinian students, and the number increased in the following year to 41 schools with 7,300 students, and then increased in 2019 2020 to 50 schools accommodating 8,300 Palestinian students, of which 12 teach the full Israeli curriculum and 38 teach it partially.

Turkey - Khalil Mabrouk - a young Jerusalemite who works in preparing bags within the school bag project to support education implemented by the Waqf of the Ummah in Jerusalem - Image source The Ummah WaqfA young Jerusalemite works preparing bags within the school bag project implemented by the Waqf of the Ummah in Jerusalem (Al-Jazeera Net)

children men

Those in charge of the Ummah Waqf believe that the occupation considers the education file in Jerusalem one of the arenas for targeting Jerusalemites to obliterate their culture and history, sometimes by preventing the teaching of curricula, sometimes by administrative detention of students and teachers, and sometimes by financially besieging educational structures.

Masum Yun, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Waqf Al-Ummah, says that the occupation is disrupting the educational process in Jerusalem by targeting its basic components, so that the Jerusalemite child finds himself in an expulsive educational environment and in a difficult economic situation as a result of the occupation policies that eventually force him to leave education and go to the market Work to ease the financial burden on his family.

The Turkish Endowment Administration believes that the occupation followed a deliberate strategy to lay hands on the capabilities of the Jerusalem education sector, in recognition of the role of this sector in achieving cultural and societal security and meeting the knowledge needs of Jerusalemites, and in order to prevent their independence with a special educational system that preserves their identity and preserves them from integration or joining the education system Judaism.

Yoon explains that children’s escape from this repellent environment denies them their childhood rights to become “premature men”; They are targeted by the occupation on the one hand, and they seek to share the responsibility of providing for their families on the other.

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