(photo credit: Natalie Managed)
Thousands of haredi schoolgirls returned to school on Sunday, while the
remainder will recommence studies on Tuesday.
Haredi boys schools began
their semester at the beginning of the Jewish month of Elul, some three weeks
In total, approximately 374,000 youngsters from the haredi sector
are enrolled in kindergartens, elementary and high school educational
frameworks, representing 18.5 percent of Israeli schoolchildren.
haredi children return to school, along with their fellow pupils from broader
Israeli society, the education network of the ultra-Orthodox community is facing
a reduction in government funding.
Most haredi primary schoolboys attend
either what are known as “Recognized but Unofficial schools” or “Exempt
Institutions,” which barely teach any core subjects set by the state, preferring
to teach religious studies instead.
The Education Ministry this year is
reducing the maximum funding for Exempt Institutions from 55% of the funding
received by non-haredi stateschools to 35%. These schools will still be
obligated to teach core curriculum subjects in order to receive government
At the same time, the ministry is in the process of creating a
state-run haredi school system in order to better guarantee the teaching of
essential subjects such as math, Hebrew and English.
legislation is in the pipe-line to abolish the so called “Nahari Law” which
obligates municipal councils to provide financial support for “Recognized but
Unofficial” haredi schools.
According to the ministry, the revoking this
law will return NIS 400 million to the public education system.
Minister Shai Piron said on Sunday that as the new school year starts, the
ministry is working to adapt the underlying purposes of studies to the 21st
“Alongside expanding knowledge, we will also work to impart
tools for creative and critical thinking... and to motivate [pupils] to a life
of excellence, responsibility, contribution [to society],” the minister said.