Hila’s main activities are focused on:
Parent Empowerment Courses
Hila is contacted each year by more than 1200 parents seeking advice, support, and counseling regarding children whose rights have been violated in schools and in the education system. We offer help to parents faced with:
Illegal or unjustified allocation to special education
Illegal or unjustified allocation to lower track courses and vocational schools that do not yield matriculation certificates
- Illegal punitive procedures i.e. suspensions and excluding pupils from exams or social activities
- Illegal psychological assessment of pupils
- Forced use of medication
- Unqualified pedagogical staff
- Unlawful parent fees
- Faulty construction and unsatisfactory sanitation of educational facilities
Hila refers parents to professionals such as pedagogical, medical, and psychological experts, and our staff and volunteers give them legal representation in their appeals and struggles for the rights of their children to regular education. If needed we contribute translators and mediators in Amharic and Arabic.
Parent Empowerment Courses
Hila’s Parent Empowerment Courses offer parents information and practical tools to improve their child’s level of education and diagnose local educational problems.
Each course consists of 10 meetings of approximately 15 participants and they are conducted nationwide in areas that are in need of higher educational quality and better matriculation rates.
The agenda deals with parent and student rights; laws, policies, and procedures governing the educational system; the importance of active parent involvement in schools; and the individual learning process of their child.
The course provides parents with the skills to positively influence their children’s education.
Every year Hila conducts a weekend seminar and several one day seminars about Educational Equality for Arab and Jewish Parent Groups. These events create a forum of activists for cross-community learning by uniting parents, community activists, students, and pedagogical/legal professionals.
At the seminars, in-depth and updated information concerning issues of educational policy, equality, and opportunity are addressed in lectures, discussions, and workshops. The topic of the seminar refers to pressing concurrent educational issues brought up by parents during the year. These fertile interactions often generate campaigns which have in the past succeeded in enforcing lasting change in Israeli educational policy and increasing parent rights and responsibilities in the education system.
Hila’s publications in Hebrew, Arabic, and Amharic provide parents with detailed information about the Israeli education system and parents’ and students’ rights.
For example, they provide information on new legislation from the Ministry of Education, parent involvement, matriculation rights, processes of allocation to special education, and academic schools versus vocational tracks. The publications also include recommendations for courses of action parents can pursue.
All information leaflets are written in clear accessible language, explain basic educational terms, and simplify legal instructions.
Hila’s Public Campaigns focus on:
- Promoting parent status and involvement in the education system
- Promoting information transparency
- Models of co-operation between parents and the education system
Transparency is needed as a basis for action or social change. The education system in Israel is only transparent towards educational staff- parents are usually not part of the circle of information. Hila encourages cooperation between parents and school staff through joint activities in the pedagogical council, in teacher/parent forums, and through the inclusion of parent committees in shaping education.
Community Center Advocacy Training
Community center training is based on the concept of “Parents for Parents”— parent activists trained to give information and assistance to other parents in the community in educational matters. This project establishes local education centers run by activists within the community that will provide information, consultation, and mediation between parents, schools, and the municipality.
These centers will work to raise consciousness and help implement the rights of students and parents, and in doing so, empower local leadership and enhance cooperation between schools, the municipality, community centers, and parents.