Education Minister Naftali Bennett has unveiled a NIS 22 million expanded culture basket for the education system.
The plan, which includes a NIS 6m.
increase, allows for nearly all cultural events in the country to be subsidized by the Education Ministry and will include some 800,000 pupils – subsidizing shows for an additional 300,000 youngsters.
“Today we are opening theatrical shows to all the children in the country,” Bennett said on Thursday.
Until now, most students attended cultural events that were not subsidized, or saw few shows, according to the Education Ministry.
When there were subsidized cultural events, the number was limited and could not always meet the educational needs of schools.
The new program aims to provide more subsidized cultural events to more pupils throughout the country. It is set to be implemented in the 5777 (2016/2017) academic year.
The current basket consists of around 1,200 shows and is limited to those approved by a repertoire committee.
The new basket seeks to include some 6,000 cultural shows; school principals will be allowed to choose up to 70 percent of the performances their pupils attend. The remaining 30 percent will be chosen based on the repertoire committee’s recommendations.
Bennett said that the changes will “encourage artists to create new works,” and “encourage school principals to take the initiative” and choose the plays for their students.
“There is no reason why children cannot see good shows that the principals want them to see,” he said.
The new outline also seeks to increase the number of localities receiving the subsidies from 100 to 170, with an emphasis on the periphery. A differential budget will seek to ensure that money is allocated to the periphery, according to a local authority’s status and number of students.
“This is a plan that each child will benefit from, and thanks to it I believe that we will provide children with new cultural experiences that will bring a wealth of cultural and artistic treasures,” Bennett said.