Melchior proposes joint secular-religious school track

Knesset Education Committee Chair Michael Melchior (Labor-Meimad) and MK Esterina Tartman's (Israel Beiteinu) bill to establish a new joint secular-religious school system was approved by the Knesset in a preliminary reading on Wednesday. The new system, for secular and religious alike, would be secular but include a more rigorous Jewish enrichment program than is currently taught in the state schools. The schools would also stress tolerance for all types of peoples. The bill proposes establishing the same institutions which the state and state-religious school systems already have, namely a branch in the Education Ministry and a council. Existing schools would be able to join the new system if they so chose. "This is a broad revolution in education in Israel. Separating education between state and state religious caused a deep polarization in the state. We must reduce the alienation in the Israeli public and there is nothing like joint studies to do it," Melchior said.