Compulsory Arabic lessons for 5th graders to begin in North

Thousands of elementary school children in Haifa and northern Israel will begin compulsory classes in Arabic in the upcoming school year as part of a new Education Ministry program, Israel Radio reported on Tuesday.
Over 1,000 teachers, mostly Jewish, currently teach Arabic in schools throughout the country.  As part of the new program, beginning in the North with plans to eventually spread nationwide, Arab teachers were enlisted to teach Arabic.
The program will focus on spoken Arabic as well as the literate Arabic that has traditionally been taught in Israeli schools. Children will begin Arabic studies as part of the new program in the fifth grade.