Challenges of the New School Year in the Holy Land

Posted on Sep 20, 2019

Christian Media Center
September 18, 2019


Some 33,000 students returned to 47 Christian schools in the Holy Land. Many educational challenges are facing these schools at the start of the new school year.


Br ABDEL MASIH FAHIM, ofm Secretary-General of the Christian Schools in Israel “Discipline first and education what matters to our schools. We care about the two, but mainly education because it is the starting point for the future and intervene with the relationship in the family and the community.”


According to official statistics of the Ministry of Education, Christian schools play an important role in the education process. This school year coincides with the eighth centenary of the presence of the Franciscan Friars in the Holy Land who have been working hard for eight centuries to convey the message of their founder, St. Francis of Assisi through their churches and schools. This was the reason for the success of these schools, which integrate students of various religions.


Br IBRAHIM FALTAS, ofm Counselor of the Custody of the Holy Land / Director of Schools “We try in our schools to implement the Franciscan values in every person. As you have seen this morning, the first thing that the student started with their study day was the prayer of Saint Francis “God Make Me an instrument of your peace”.


These are the values of Saint Francis: humility, love, service, meeting, dialogue and coexistence; especially, we celebrate this year 800 years of the encounter of Saint Francis with Al-Malik Al-Kamel in Egypt.


Br ABDEL MASIH FAHIM, ofm Secretary-General of the Christian Schools in Israel “We try through these contacts within the school, to build a healthy society based on peace, dialogue, justice, love, and brotherhood.”


Brother Abdel-Masih Fahim stated that the Christian schools will achieve their goals, despite the economic obstacles owing to delays in government payments. On the other hand, he unveiled that the Ministry of Education approved his request to publish a new book to teach the history of Christianity. The existing book focuses only on the corruption of the Church in the Middle Ages; describes the Crusades as colonialists; ignore the Christian presence in the pre-Islamic era; and the literary and cultural contribution of Christians throughout the ages.


Br ABDEL MASIH FAHIM, ofm Secretary-General of the Christian Schools in Israel “We have established a committee for the preparation of this textbook. The book deals with the spread of Christianity; the formation of different patriarchates, the Church in the Middle Ages and modern period; and the contributions of the Church in social activities. We have a long history to appreciate and we want to make it known so that others can understand us better.”


The Secretary-General of Christian Schools pointed out that educational attainment is very important, but students shall not live by it alone.


Br ABDEL MASIH FAHIM, ofm Secretary-General of the Christian Schools in Israel “What is the benefit of high degrees if the person cannot deal with the other and does not feel the importance of education for building his country? What is the importance of this human being if he lives only for himself and for his research? We live in an interdependent society with goals that must be clear to every individual.”


At the opening of the new academic year, Fr. Abdul Masih Fahim wished the students a successful school year enhanced with good morals.