IAF, Education Ministry reach out to pupils, teachers

OC Air Force Maj.-Gen. Elazar Shkedy has sent his men on what may be their most-important-ever ground mission. Thousands of soldiers will visit more than 400 schools on Wednesday to strengthen ties between the IDF and the schools. As part of events marking the 60th anniversary of statehood, the white-clad men and women will teach over 300,000 students about subjects including the air force's battles, and geography, ethics and values. Other IDF branches such as the navy and the Education Corps will also participate in the program, titled "Good Manners and the Skies." In addition, teachers and administrators will visit air force bases to learn about operational missions, educational missions, and the ethics education soldiers receive. Shkedy initiated the program to recognize the contribution of educators and education to the state's success over the past 60 years. "This praiseworthy initiative will bring to the fore the debate over values, achievements and the feeling of belonging to the nation. This project could connect adults and youngsters in a special way, and education professionals with soldiers for a joint discussion of a topic dear to everyone's hearts - Israeli society," Education Minister Yuli Tamir said.