A Welcome Policy Change from the Ministry of Education

9 November 2014

After years of advocacy and effort – finally – a change in the Ministry of Education’s policy: students of Ethiopian origin who were born in Israel will no longer be treated as new immigrants!

23 years after Operation Solomon, the Ministry of Education is making a fundamental policy change: the Department for the Absorption of Immigrant Students will no longer be responsible for children and youth of Ethiopian origin who were born in Israel. From now on, the department will focus solely on those who were not born in Israel, whether in Ethiopia or in other countries.

IAEJ raised the need for such a change years ago and has continued to advocate in its favor, out of the understanding that the long-standing policy has kept Ethiopian Israeli students in a ghetto, both metaphorically and de facto. It defies logic to classify and separate about 70% of the 43,000 Ethiopian Israeli students that were born in Israel from the rest of the student body and treat them as if they were new immigrants.

IAEJ welcomes the Ministry’s intention to regard Ethiopian Israeli students in the same way as all other students. This long-awaited change in the outlook which considers Ethiopian Israelis as a uniform group of perpetual immigrants breaks prevailing hypotheses which led to the creation of programs based on color and origin.

It is IAEJ’s expectation that the long-awaited change be implemented in such a way that the individual needs of each and every student are met by the Ministry.

Photo Credit: Moti Milrod (HA’ARETZ)

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