Education Ministry to expand textbook initiative

Shai Piron expands project to add additional 500 schools to project which covers nine subjects, involves budget of NIS 35 m.

May 28, 2013 19:29
1 minute read.
School bags

School bags. (photo credit: Melanie Lidman)

The Education Ministry announced this week that it will be expanding its textbook lending initiative to an additional 500 schools for the next school year.

In total, 1,800 schools nationwide will be included in the project which covers nine subjects of study and involves a budget of some NIS 35 million.

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Education Minister Shai Piron intervened to expand the project in order to alleviate the financial burden of buying school books on parents.

Piron stressed the importance of the project, which “saves parents hundreds of shekels a year and encourages equality among students, who will be able to start the school year with a basket full of books in their possession." The textbook lending program involved preserving pupils’ used book as well as buying some new ones to be added into the project.

The purchase of new textbooks is done through charging parents a fee for lending the books, which remains cheaper than when buying new materials.

The lending fee amounts to NIS 280 for elementary schools and NIS 320 for high schools.

In order to implement the program, a majority of 60 percent of the schools’ parents need to vote in favor of it. This year, the ministry has made voting possible for parents online.

"We are pleased to provide this important public service to parents and students, since beyond relieving the burden of payments, the project also promotes the values ​​of sustainability and community,” Director General of the Ministry Dalit Stauber said in a statement.

Earlier this month Piron had also announced an addition of NIS 50 million to the ministry’s budget dedicated to scholarships for needy students for the next school year. The decision meant that the ministry will fully fund annual school trips and cultural activities as well as provide assistance in purchasing school supplies for some students.

"There are more and more people below the poverty line,” Piron had said following the decision, “This is a social and moral warning, not just an economic one.”

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