Merchavim conference: Meeting the needs of of Arab teachers ...

Merchavim conference: Meeting the needs of of Arab teachers working in Jewish schools

February 4, 2015

As part of Merchavim's partnership with the Ministry of Education to integrate 500 Arab teachers of English, Math and Science in Jewish public schools, the organization held two conferences in November to explore challenges, needs  and lessons-learned as Arab teachers' become part of the Jewish school system.

In year two of the program, 89 Arab teachers (43 last year, 46 this year) have been placed, all of whom go through training and are accompanied by supportive mentoring provided by Merchavim.

At the conferences, Merchavim shared their recently produced guide, “Join and Integrate”, in order to help the teachers and school principals make the program part of the school community professionally and socially.

Prof. Eran Halperin, Director of the School of Psychology at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya spoke at the conference about the psychological aspects of the encounter between cultures and identities in a crisis.

A movie screening of “Dove’s Cry" , followed by a panel discussion, portayed a personal experience with students and school staff that enabled them to observe other's culture, refute prejudices and dissolve fears.

According to Mohammed Hiadri, Monitoring Committee for Arab Educational Affairs, the Arab education system had to fill around 4,000 positions, but some 10,000 Arab teaching graduates, most of them women, were out of work. In 2012, the Ministry of Education declared its intention to work wtih Merchavim integrate 500 Arab teachers in Jewish schools over the next five years. The Education Ministry's director general, Dalit Stauber added by saying that “This partnership breaks down barriers and allows each side to get to know the other properly. It also helps meet the needs of the Arab community, which has a surplus of teachers.”





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