Friday, November 24, 2017

Tent school in Arab Ar Ramadin under threat of demolition

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By Calum Toogood - December 11, 2012
TAGS:
Section: [Main News] [In Pictures]
Tags: [Arab Ramadin] [Displacement] [demolition] [Qalqylia]

The village school in the Bedouin village of Arab Ar Ramadin, which has recently been erected in the form of tents, has become under threat of demolition. Arab Ar Ramadin is located in an area designated by the IDF as a closed military zone. As a result of this they cannot obtain permission to construct any new structure within the village.

 
The school, which 23 students attend, is for 1st to 3rd grade, and was opened on the 14th October 2012. After two days, the school faculty was issued with a stop working order from the Israeli government. The letter stated that if they do not stop working within the school it would be demolished.
 
The Bedouin village of Arab Ar Ramadin, home to around 300 people, is located in the South of Qalqiya area, between the Apartheid Wall and the Green Line, known as the 'seam zone’. As a result of its location, villagers have to pass through checkpoints daily to reach towns such as Qalqilya.
 
Before the school was opened in Arab Ar Ramadin all the students would attend schools either in the villages of Hableh or Nabi Ilyas, both situated on the other side of the Wall.
 
This meant that students would have to spend around an hour each way passing through the checkpoint to reach their school. The gates only open three times a day: 0630 until 0800, 1300 until 1400 and 1700 until 1730.
 
Heyam Salman, the school’s principal, said that the problem here is that the children sometimes finish school early and have to wait around before crossing the checkpoint.
 
“This is the problem for the small kids,” Salman explained. “That has been causing a problem for the teachers in these schools because they have to stay with them, so that the children are not left alone. It’s a big problem also for the mother to get in contact with the school to follow their children, [to know] what they are doing and how they are.”
 
The original plan was to expand the school in Arab Ar Ramadin to accommodate for classes up to 6th grade. This plan for the school would encompass around 50 children. This would further reduce the number of children having to pass through the checkpoints every day.
 
At present the majority of teachers at the school live in Qalqilya. To reach the school they have to pass the checkpoint every day. Within this process they are searched by the security.
 
The Ministry of Education has an agreement with the security forces at the checkpoint which means that these teachers do not need to keep applying for a permit to cross the checkpoint. Salman said this is not always recognised, and often the teachers are restricted from passing.
 
Kassab Shour, who functions as a sort of mayor to the community in Arab Ar Ramadin, is also responsible for the building of the school.
 
In response to the stop working order, the Ministry of Education has provided him with a lawyer to help prevent the demolition of this school. No one is aware of how long this process will take.



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