Education Minister Shai Piron said on Friday that since the government took
office, at least 20 haredi schools have begun teaching the core curriculum
subjects of English, Math and Hebrew, and that in addition four yeshiva high
schools that have been opened this year have begun preparing students for the
state high school matriculation exam.
Piron made the comments in an
interview in Friday’s Israel Hayom, and said that ultimately the two main haredi
elementary school networks would be forced financially to integrate core
curriculum studies into their educational programs as well.
the large majority of Ashkenazi haredi elementary boy schools teach very little
of the state core curriculum, while almost all haredi high schools for boys
teach no core curriculum studies at all.
The Shas-run Ma’ayan Hahinuch
Hatorani says it teaches the core curriculum in Math, English and Hebrew, but
the Education Ministry is skeptical that the full syllabus is in fact
On taking office earlier this year, Piron announced he would seek
to defund haredi schools that do not teach the core curriculum, although these
reforms were put on hold because of a legal problem with defunding the schools
without a suitable alternative.
The Education Ministry has since then
created what it is calling the Tziburi Haredi state education system and called
on any interested haredi schools to join it.
The new educational
framework provides haredi elementary schools with 100 percent of state funding
in return for the school teaching 100 percent of the state core curriculum for
Math, English and Hebrew.
According to Piron and the ministry, more than
20 haredi elementary schools have decided to change from their previous status
in which they received between 55-75% funding in return for teaching a similar
level of the state syllabus, which in practice was not fulfilled, to the new
Tziburi Haredi framework.
An official in the ministry told The Jerusalem
Post the amount of hours taught and the level of the education would be exactly
the same as in non-haredi schools, although some textbooks and educational
materials could be adapted to ensure that they are “appropriate” for the haredi
He added that the ministry does not involve itself in the
studies taught to the pupils outside of the core curriculum topics.
state inspection to confirm compliance with ministry standards is in operation
for these schools.
The official also noted that the ministry had
coordinated the enrollment of the new schools to the Tziburi Haredi system
directly with the management of the schools in question and not in conjunction
with the haredi political or rabbinic leadership.
He added that the
schools themselves had approached the ministry to adopt the new system after
several public announcements made by Piron declaring the new system available
for haredi schools.
There are several other schools which have applied to
transfer to the Tziburi Haredi system and their requests are currently being
processed by the ministry.
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