Many graduates of Arab high schools enroll in colleges for education studies and there are no employment counseling services to direct them towards other options.

“For many years, there has been a large disparity between the number of educational college graduates and the number of teachers who join the work force in the Arab sector. Today, there are 11,000 unemployed Arab teachers,” said MK Masud Ganaim (Ra’am-Ta’al) in a discussion he initiated in the Committee on the Status of Women, chaired by MK Dr. Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid). “Employment counseling is not institutionalized,” added Ganaim. “It should be a part of the program in schools. Today most girls study education. They can’t all be teachers. There needs to be more integration of Arab teachers into the public school system, where there is a lack of man power.”

Lavie commented: “Does a 17 year old Arab girl today know all the employment options she has to choose from? Already when the girls are in school there should be counseling within the schools that will direct them towards a wide variety of careers and that will give them the tools to choose different options. The unemployment of teachers has to do with the broader problem of unemployment of Arab women in general, a problem that must be dealt with. The Committee will work with the Ministries of Education and Finance in order to inspect the options for broadening the employment options for Arab women.”

Abdallah Hatib, Director of the Arab Sector Education department in the Ministry of Education stated that: “Many of the teachers that don’t find employment within the Ministry of Education find alternative employment. Some 35% of them work in private schools and kindergartens. Today, there are 2500 women who submitted employment requests and are still jobless. The high number of unemployed teachers stems from the high unemployment rate of Arab women in general, from the small number of schools, and because too many women study this one profession. We must guide them. There are too few profession counseling facilities. The lack of integration causes alienation and frustration. I object to putting limits on the number of students of education. This will result in fewer Arab women receiving a higher education.”

Dr. Eli Veted, Head of the Beit Berel Academic Institute of Education said: “Many young Arab men and women turn to the colleges in Emek Yizrael, Ariel and Netanya, where the admission standards are lower than the Arab colleges for education. They study criminology, finish their degrees and then retrain to become teachers. They join the graduates of eduction through the ‘back door’ and this is one of the factors that cause such a high unemployment rate among teachers. We must direct the young women to study technology and open other doors for Arab youngsters.”

MK Ahmad Tibi (Ra’am-Ta’al) commented: “The severe problem of teachers’ unemployment continues to plague us; many don’t even request employment through the Ministry of Education. All this takes place while at the same time, in the Jewish sector there is a lack of teachers. We are constantly demanding the integration of Arab teachers into Jewish schools, and not only as Arab language teachers but also for math, biology and English. I know dozens of such teachers who have succeeded.”