A new Education Ministry curriculum on the history and meaning of the Hatikva, the national anthem, will not be distributed to Arab and haredi schools. The curriculum will be distributed to the state secular and state religious schools in the coming weeks, and is meant to be incorporated across the disciplines. It includes research into the origin of the anthem's melody and lyrics, and discussions of its history and meaning. "This is structured material full of examples and original research," Dr. Zofia Yoed, director of curriculum development in the Education Ministry said on Tuesday. "For example, the new curriculum incorporates groundbreaking research that overturns what we all knew about the origins of the melody. Everybody knows that the Hatikva melody comes from a Romanian folk ballad, but we have discovered the melody in an earlier instance, in a text from the 1330s found in an old Portuguese synagogue and written in the musical notation of the time. It was Sephardi Jewish before it was Romanian," Yoed explained. Asked why the curriculum was not designated for Arab and haredi schools, in which about one-half of Israeli kindergarteners now study, Yoed replied that "the Arab system is more or less autonomous in selecting its curriculum." "I wish this material entered those school systems as well," she said, "but this is an issue for serious debate and it's not for me to decide. I hope it happens." A representative of Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar (Likud) told The Jerusalem Post it was too early to determine where in the education system the curriculum would be used, but that a decision would be made soon.