School Attendance Moving Up in East Jerusalem Despite Boycott

All four Arab elementary schools and one intermediate school in East Jerusalem functioned on schedule today, and standby teachers were on hand to conduct classes. Attendance figures were available at only one of the elementary schools, whose principal told the JTA reporter than 200 pupils and three teachers appeared for classes. Last year, when the schools were in Jordanian-held territory, there were 700 pupils and 16 teachers in the same school, the principal said.

Sixty girl students, believed to constitute 40 percent of last year’s enrollment, reported at the first East Jerusalem intermediate school to reopen. Grades seven, eight and nine are taught in the school. None of the former teachers reported, but the girls were provided with three teachers from East Jerusalem who had been teaching in other Arab countries and had decided to remain here.

In the Gaza Strip, meanwhile, Israeli education officials declared that attendance of Arab children in the school there has reached 70 percent of last year’s figure — when the area was part of Egypt. The officials estimated that pupil attendance would reach the maximum enrollment within two weeks.

It was announced that Israel has spent over 1.2 million pounds ($400,000) to repair the school buildings in the Gaza Strip, in anticipation of the opening of the school year this past week.

NEXT STORY