(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Some 150 parents, teachers, and educators gathered in Sacher Park in Jerusalem on Thursday afternoon to welcome the new education minister with a list of demands to improve the education system.
“Welcome, honored minister,” said Paz Cohen, chairman of the Parents Association in Jerusalem and member of the Forum of Regional Parents Associations: “You have received the most significant portfolio for the future of the State of Israel.
Every citizen in Israel is directly affected by what happens in the education system and the future of our children has been put into your hands. We expect that you will lead the necessary actions to decrease the crowding in our classrooms, to invest in early childcare, and to deal with the burning topics that are waiting for you to take care of.”
The list of demands by the parents and teachers includes smaller classes, adding an assistant kindergarten teacher to each kindergarten class, expanding investment in early childhood care, and adjusting the school vacation schedule so it will be more compatible with workplace vacation allowances.
The parents and teachers in attendance also want to become more involved in the education system and to ensure that communications between parents and the educational staff is a priority. “One of the cornerstones of good education is cooperation and dialogue between parents and educational staff,” said Micol Nizza, member of the coalition to improve conditions in kindergartens.
Ghassan Thaya, chairman of the Kalansuwa Regional Parents Association, spoke on behalf of the Arab schools in the country, calling on the new minister to ensure equality in the school system. “We are asking to promote equal opportunities and rights also for students in the Arab sector. We are asking for security and safety for our children in schools. For decisive action to reduce the gaps and to assist the children who are dropping out of school. We expect the incoming minister of education to see us – the Arab citizens – equal partners in action and decision-making.”