Ross in Poland with students from Midreshet Lindenbaum..
(photo credit: COURTESY OHR TORAH STONE)
The Knesset Education, Sports and Culture Committee on Monday urged schools to cancel their annual youth delegations to Poland.
The committee convened for a discussion about high school class trips to Poland to visit key sites of the Holocaust and the many students who cannot afford to join these outings.
MK Ya’acov Margi (Shas), the committee chairman, demanded that the Education Ministry offer subsidies for such trips for students in need.
“Until such time the committee is calling to suspend all the delegations and to do take every measure to ensure that no student is left behind whether it be a trip to Poland or any other educational activity,” Margi said.
MK Itzik Shmuli (Zionist Union), who initiated the discussion, said the trips to Poland enrich the curriculum and provide students with added educational and moral value.
“But it cannot be that we will continue to agree that the delegations to Poland will only be for the rich,” Shmuli said.
“The fact that the right to touch the stones of Auschwitz are denied to a child because his parents do not have enough money is something that does not stop bothering me,” he said.
The ministry said two months ago it had secured an NIS 1,000 reduction in the price of school trips to Poland, largely by shouldering some of the expense. But the discount is apparently too little for many pupils.
According to Shmuli only 30,000 students out of 120,000 are able to take the flights to Poland each year. The cost is at least several thousand shekels apiece, making it difficult for students from poor families to afford it.