'We must promote a society that ensures shared core values'

Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar remains intent on mending "destructive processes" in haredi educational system.

By JONAH MANDEL
November 10, 2010 16:30
2 minute read.
Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar

311_gideon sa'ar. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar reiterated on Tuesday that his ministry would cut funding from haredi schools that do not teach core curriculum subjects, noting that job tenders were issued to increase the numbers of supervisors enforcing the decree, thus fixing the “destructive processes” that were the share of all past governments.

“The State is responsible to oversee the execution of the minimal duties, as defined by it,” he said at the opening of the international Van Leer Education Conference on Teachers and Teaching Policies.

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“I respect the difference and uniqueness of different sectors in the Israeli society,” he said of the haredim. “There are different faiths. I have no intention or will to change that. But I won't keep my eyes shut and enable the destructive processes that all previous governments promulgated that bring Israeli society to collapse into tribes, with less and less in common. We must act to promote a society that ensures shared values in its core, joint responsibility and solidarity.”

“This is the basis to my decision, based on legal opinions, to correlate between the extent of [core curriculum studies] in schools and the funding they receive from the State,” Sa'ar said. “This is also the basis of my decision to add supervisors, to ensure that the supervision will be more than a slogan. Everyone must take the Meitzav exams,” which are used to measure growth and efficiency in the country's schools, “it is a lawful duty.”
 

“We are years late in implementing things that should have been done a long time ago. We must return to a statesmanlike attitude, that recognizes and understands the uniqueness [of the haredi society] without waiving the place of the State and its responsibility. This is our responsibility to the future of our children here.”

Sa'ar also used the opportunity to call on youth, “who want to contribute to the Israeli society, shape it and its future,” to join the ranks of its teachers. “There is no other position with the same capacity to shape a generation and influence the future of our children, and the entire society, like instruction, with all the huge difficulties entailed in the profession. We must continue cultivating the profession in many aspects, from the environment in schools, adapting the infrastructures, discipline problems, and of course increasing teachers' income, alongside constructing an ethos to ensure the future of the profession.”


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