Promoting THE EDUCATIONAL rights of children
Asylum seeker children’s educational journey starts in ‘children warehouses’ – unsupervised daycares operated by unqualified workers from the communities who often do not speak the children’s language, and characterized by very low educational and care standards. At the age of three, Once these children are integrated into the Israeli school system, they face additional barriers and challenges – for the most part, asylum seeker children attend separate schools that do not address their specific circumstances, nor respond to their special needs. As a result, the educational achievements of most children in primary school is very low, and many reach high school with poor language proficiencies – they often can barely read and write, their verbal language skills, both in Hebrew and in their mother-tongues, are poor, and in many cases their cognitive and emotional development is severely impeded.
we operate 2 community advocacy programs to promote the children's educational rights:
The Parent’s Forum is grassroots, collaborative approach that involves asylum seeker parents in the protection and promotion of their children’s educational rights. The Forum promotes the establishment of parents’ committees in schools and kindergartens, provides information on children's educational rights, gives legal advice to parents and promotes widespread dissemination of children's rights.
Promoting public policy - following what we learn in the course of our work with the Parents’ Forum, we engage in advocacy efforts with the Tel Aviv municipality as well as with the Ministries of Education and Welfare to address significant issues. Using mostly legal arguments, we tackle issues such as segregation in the education system, accessibility to the long school day, reduction of number of students per class, improved staff preparation and more.