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Palestinian schools switch to Israeli curriculum in Jerusalem

Aug. 28, 2013 4:50 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 30, 2013 12:59 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- The director of education in Jerusalem has urged families with schoolchildren in Jerusalem to be aware that at least five Palestinian schools are switching to Israeli education materials.

Sameer Jibril said the Ebin Rushd and Abdulla bin Hussain schools were using Israeli education materials in the seventh and eighth grades. The Sour Baher school is using them for fourth, fifth and sixth grades, and the Ibin Khaldoun school uses it for seventh graders.

An education official told Ma’an that a meeting took place on Thursday in Herzliya near Tel Aviv for Palestinian and Israeli principals and teachers to discuss switching from Palestinian Authority to Israeli curricula.

The Israeli municipality in Jerusalem offered to increase salaries for teachers and principals who agree to implement the plans in their schools, the official said. The proposal would add about 2,000 shekels (about $550) per student enrolled in schools using Israeli curricula.

A teacher who identified himself as Jibril told Ma'an that using Israeli curricula was a "violation" of Palestinian culture and history.

"This step is very dangerous and touches the awareness of Palestinians in Jerusalem in an effort to brainwash them and control them, especially young generations.”

Among the concerns Palestinian teachers have about the materials are maps purporting to depict the state of Israel which include the West Bank and identify Palestinian territory by Jewish Biblical names.

It also includes history lessons about the destruction of a Jewish temple in Jerusalem, which the texts separately identify as the capital of Israel despite an international consensus that the city is occupied.

Another section depicts a conversation between three Arab students who praise Israel's development of Palestinian cities and decide to sing the Israeli national anthem.

Other points of concern include a photograph of the separation wall along with a caption identifying it as Israel's "security fence," and another referring to Israel as a bastion of human rights and democracy.
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