In a recent report published by ALLMEP member Sikkuy, the group outlined the importance of Arabic language education in Israeli Jewish schools to the pursuit of coexistence and sustainable peace in the region. The report includes the alarming finding that only a small percentage of Hebrew-speaking Israelis have a working knowledge of Arabic despite the country’s twenty percent Arabic-speaking population.
The report provides a policy analysis of the problems and barriers that limit the instruction of Arabic in Jewish schools and recommends policy steps to increase the number of students learning Arabic in Jewish schools and raise the number of graduating Jewish students who can communicate in Arabic.
The report details the findings of a policy research project conducted by Sikkuy’s Department of Shared society, based on the Sikkuy policy model titled “From Barriers to Opportunities.”
The group launched the research on July 3rd at a session of the Knesset Education Committee during the recent annual Knesset “Arabic Day,” which marks the importance of the Arabic language in Israeli society. As part of the meeting’s conclusions, the committee chair adopted Sikkuy’s recommendations detailed in the report.
These recommendations include adding a booster hour for Arabic studies to expand the time spent learning the language, implementing changes at an organizational level, and creating new motivational tools.
With the adoption of the recommendations, Sikkuy’s goal of advancing advocacy for policy change at the highest levels of government was met and their particular goal of encouraging the Ministry of Education to advance substantial expansion of Arabic studies in the Jewish school system was realized.
In light of the recently passed Nation-State Law in the Knesset, which degrades the status of Arabic to one that is unequal to Hebrew, Sikkuy’s report demonstrates the importance and value of Arabic education at a time when it’s under debate in the region.
Read the full report here: From Barriers to Opportunities
Photo Credit: Sikkuy
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