According to the Immigrant Absorption Ministry, of all the immigrants who moved to Israel over the past decade, 34,400 children will be attending an Israeli school this coming year.
By Yael Branovsky
The school year is set to begin in Israel on Tuesday, with more than 2 million children and teens poised to enter or return to the school system. Of them, a record number of 2,900 students will be attending an Israeli school for the first time, having immigrated to Israel this summer. Some 360 new immigrants will be starting school as Israeli first graders.
According to the Immigrant Absorption Ministry, the number of new immigrant students this year constitutes an increase of more than 50% over last year. In September 2014, only 1,900 new immigrant students entered Israel’s school system.
Much like the last school year, in 2015 most new immigrants poised to enter Israel’s schools hail from France — 1,150 students — followed by Ukraine (500), Russia (470) and the U.S. (270). Additional countries include Peru, Australia and Belgium.
The ministry points out that of all the immigrants who moved to Israel over the last decade, 34,400 will be attending an Israeli school this coming year. As a possible result, the schools are planning to focus heavily on combating racism and incitement within Israeli society as part of the curriculum.
Immigrant Absorption Minister Zeev Elkin said Sunday that the rising number of new immigrant students is a clear indication that we are in the midst of a historic era. “We have not witnessed this kind of growth in the number of new immigrants to Israel in 15 years,” he said. “However, this is not only happy news but also an enormous challenge for the Israeli education system and Israeli society as a whole. If we aren’t wise enough to handle the many obstacles inherent in absorbing immigrant students, the immigration process as a whole could suffer.”
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