Aid Organization for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Israel

Petition to facilitate distance learning among children of asylum seekers and other marginalized communities (May 2020)

Following the emergence of the Coronavirus Crisis in March 2020, and the shift in the education system to distance learning, a petition was filed on 4 May 2020, against the Ministry of Education and other government ministries, demanding access to Internet infrastructures and computers for students from marginalized communities.  

The petition addressed the gaps in the accessibility of students to internet connections and computers, and demanded that government ministries work immediately to reduce these gaps so that every student can attend classes and do the schoolwork.

The petition was filed by Adv. Haran Reichman of the Education Law and Policy Clinic at the University of Haifa, and Adv. Tal Hassin of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), on behalf of ASSAF and of the following petitioners: ACRI, Ir Amim, Union of Parents of East Jerusalem Schools, Hilla, the Association of Ethiopian Jews, and several community leaders and parents from the Arab society and from the asylum seeking community in Israel.

On May 20, 2020, a hearing was held concerning the petition in the Supreme Court, which decided to void the petition after educational institutions returning to near-normal activity, and in light of the formation of a new government after a prolonged political stalemate. The court advised the petitioners to appeal directly to the newly formed government, while maintaining the right to file additional appeals if existing shortcomings go unaddressed.