Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid 370.
(photo credit: Efrat Sa'ar)
Yesh Atid Party leader Yair Lapid would cut all funding for haredi schools if
they do not start meeting minimum requirements in teaching math, English and
reading comprehension, he announced at a Tel Aviv press conference
Ultra-Orthodox schools have rejected demands to teach the
government’s mandated core curriculum for decades. Lapid, who has said he wants
to be education minister in the next government, vowed to enforce the core
curriculum when he outlined his party’s platform on the eve of the first day of
“Education, unlike other issues that have fallen by the wayside
over the past several years, must be a cause of unity and equality,” Lapid said.
“But education is also the state’s ability to say what it does not accept:
Educational institutions that do not teach the core curriculum will not receive
a single cent from the state. Schools that do not accept Ethiopian pupils will
not open. Principals that expel students with bad grades to raise their school’s
success rate in matriculation tests could lose their jobs.”
declared that the next decade should be the decade of education, in which Israel
would put schooling atop its list of priorities in order to return to the top of
the world’s rankings in education.
He lamented that Israel had fallen far
behind other countries in math and science.
Lapid’s goals include
bridging the social gaps, stopping an obsession with tests and transferring the
focal point of management from the Education Ministry to school principals and
teachers. He would form a professional national council for education in an
effort to separate education from politics and set a standard “educational
basket” that every child would receive.
Lapid would significantly cut the
number of matriculation tests from 12 to only four: math, English, reading
comprehension and one elective.
There would still be grades in subjects
such as Bible, biology, civics and literature but they would not be measured by
“Teachers should not be enslaved by the testing
industry,” Lapid said.
“They should be busy with teaching, learning,
enlightenment and education and we should trust that they know how to teach. The
insanity over tests must stop.”
In an interview with Army Radio, former
education minister Yossi Sarid (Meretz) called Lapid’s plan “demagoguery.”