Demanding Accessibility for Schoolchildren
NIF grantee Zazim – Community Action is organizing an online petition to protest the fact that hundreds of thousands of Israeli children cannot participate in remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic because they don’t have access to an internet-connected computer in their homes. The petition is part of Zazim’s campaign called “A computer for every child now.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of Israel’s schools, children are required by law to participate in online Zoom lesions. However, children from disadvantaged backgrounds have no available online devices at home, so they cannot participate in the lessons.
Zazim estimates that 400,000 Israeli schoolchildren do not have access to an online computer at home. The government is committed to providing 150,000 schoolchildren with computers by the end of 2021, which is too little too late.
In its latest survey, the Israel National Parents Association found that 490,000 Israeli schoolchildren had no access to an online computer at home, including 30% of students in first and second grade.
Tzofit Golan, Deputy Chair of the Israel National Parents Association said, “They have privatized the education system and made it a system for only the rich. Whoever has money has enough computers. Whoever has money can give their children private lessons. Parents in wealthier cities are arranging private study groups for their children.”
Golan added, “At the same time we get dozens of parents contacting us to say they have four children and two computers. It looks like the entire school year has been lost for many.”
The New Israel Fund remains committed to the fight for equal education opportunities for all children in Israel and will continue to support the push for change.