Bennett’s announces NIS 22 million cultural basket for pupils

The new plan, which includes a NIS 6 million increase, allows for nearly all cultural events in Israel to be subsidized by the Education Ministry and will include some 800,000 pupils.

February 18, 2016 20:43
1 minute read.
Naftali Bennett

Naftali Bennett. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)


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Education Minister Naftali Bennett presented a new NIS 22 million expanded culture basket for the education system on Thursday.

The new plan, which includes a NIS 6 million increase, allows for nearly all cultural events in Israel to be subsidized by the Education Ministry and will include some 800,000 pupils - an increase of subsidies for shows for some 300,000 children.

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“Today we are opening theatrical shows to all the children in the country,” said Education Minister Naftali Bennett on Thursday. 

According to the Education Ministry, to date the majority of students were privy to cultural events which were not subsidized, or saw a limited number of shows.  When students were privy to subsidized cultural events, the supply was limited and could not always address the educational needs of schools.

The new program aims to correct this by providing an increased number of subsidized cultural events to countless more pupils throughout the country and is set to be implemented in the upcoming 2016/2017 academic year.

To date the basket comprised of some 1,200 shows and was limited to only shows preapproved by a repertoire committee.  The new basket seeks to include some 6,000 cultural shows open to the discretion of school principals who can choose up to 70% of the shows to include annually.  The additional 30% of school cultural shows will include the recommendations of the repertoire committee.

Bennett said that this new layout will “encourage artists to create new works” and will in turn “encourage school principals to take the initiative” and choose the plays for their students.

“There is no reason why children cannot see good [quality] shows that the principals want them to see,” he said.

The new outline also seeks to provide subsidies to an additional 70 municipalities, from 100 to 170 cities, placing an emphasis on the periphery.  A new differential budget will seek to ensure that funds are appropriated to the periphery, according to a local authority’s standing and the number of students in the municipality.

“This is a plan that each child will enjoy, and thanks to it I believe that we will provide children with new cultural experiences which will bring cultural and artistic wealth,” said Bennett.

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