Challenging Severe Shortage of Educational Psychologists in Unrecognized Arab Bedouin Villages in the Naqab.

HCJ 3926/06, Al-Sayed Abed El-Dayem et. al v. The Ministry of Education and The Abu Basma Regional Council

Petition submitted in 5/06 to the Supreme Court against the Ministry of Education (MOE), demanding the appointment of educational psychologists in five schools in unrecognized Arab Bedouin villages in the Naqab, in accordance with the MOE’s own criteria. 3,650 students study at the schools, none of which has an educational psychologist on staff. 85% of schools in Bedouin villages in the Naqab operate without educational psychologists, compared to only 13% of Jewish schools in region. As Adalah stressed, the failure of the MOE to provide the required number educational psychologists cripples the ability of the school system to provide necessary student support and assessment, and that the dire socio-economic situation and neglect of the Arab educational system in particular necessitates the allocation of educational psychologists. Adalah argued that the enormous gap in the resources invested in the Arab and Jewish educational systems in the Naqab violates the principle of equality and constitutes discrimination on the basis of national belonging.

The petitioners’ request for the appointment of educational psychologists is in accordance with MOE’s own recommendations, which have been applied by the MOE to other schools in the Naqab, although not in the unrecognized villages. Adalah included in the petition official reports issued by committees established by the MOE, human rights organizations and the State Comptroller, all of which discuss the essential role played by educational psychologists and the need for them in the Bedouin villages in the Naqab. The petition was submitted after the filing of a previous petition by Adalah in 5/04 (H.C. 4177/04, see above), which demanded that the state provide the necessary number of psychologists in the seven government-planned Bedouin towns in the Naqab. In response to this petition, the state committed to adopt a policy of affirmative action in education over the long-term for Bedouin students in the Naqab. In submitting the current petition, Adalah seeks to build on this decision to secure the educational benefits afforded to students by educational psychologists for Arab Bedouin citizens living in the unrecognized villages, to enable them to exercise their right to education.

H.C. 3926/06, Al-Sayed Abed El-Dayem et. al v. The Ministry of Education and The Abu Basma Regional Council (case pending)