(photo credit: Melanie Lidman)
The Education Ministry announced this week that it will be expanding its
textbook lending initiative to an additional 500 schools for the next school
In total, 1,800 schools nationwide will be included in the project
which covers nine subjects of study and involves a budget of some NIS 35
Education Minister Shai Piron intervened to expand the project
in order to alleviate the financial burden of buying school books on
Piron stressed the importance of the project, which “saves
parents hundreds of shekels a year and encourages equality among students, who
will be able to start the school year with a basket full of books in their
possession." The textbook lending program involved preserving pupils’ used book
as well as buying some new ones to be added into the project.
purchase of new textbooks is done through charging parents a fee for lending the
books, which remains cheaper than when buying new materials.
fee amounts to NIS 280 for elementary schools and NIS 320 for high
In order to implement the program, a majority of 60 percent of
the schools’ parents need to vote in favor of it. This year, the ministry has
made voting possible for parents online.
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"We are pleased to provide this
important public service to parents and students, since beyond relieving the
burden of payments, the project also promotes the values of sustainability and
community,” Director General of the Ministry Dalit Stauber said in a
Earlier this month Piron had also announced an addition of NIS
50 million to the ministry’s budget dedicated to scholarships for needy students
for the next school year. The decision meant that the ministry will fully fund
annual school trips and cultural activities as well as provide assistance in
purchasing school supplies for some students.
"There are more and more
people below the poverty line,” Piron had said following the decision, “This is
a social and moral warning, not just an economic one.”
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