Sa’ar touts instilling ‘Zionist, Jewish’ values

Education Minister announces shift in curriculum at pre-Rosh Hashana toast; school uniforms to be compulsory in elementary and junior high schools.

Gideon Saar (photo credit: Ariel Jeorzolimski)
Gideon Saar
(photo credit: Ariel Jeorzolimski)
Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar reiterated on Sunday that this school year will include a special focus on Zionist and Jewish values, as part of what he said were essential steps towards reinstilling values that were stronger in days past.
“We have to bring back to the education system Zionist values, Jewish values, and democratic values,” Sa’ar said, adding that he feared the results of having a generation of Israeli students “who don’t know what ties them to this land, what ties them to one another, what’s the history of the Land of Israel.”
Part of such efforts will involve more classroom hours devoted to Hebrew language enrichment. Sa’ar said the importance of such a move is highlighted by what he said was the “diminishing national vocabulary” and the fact that “it’s hard to walk in a mall and find any signs in Hebrew.”
Sa’ar also said that Jewish values will be enriched by his plans to dramatically increase the number of students visiting Jerusalem, saying he intends to bring 500,000 children to the capital each year on school trips.
Sa’ar’s comments came during a pre-Rosh Hashana toast held in Tel Aviv with several hundred Likud party members, during which he also issued his support for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during his negotiations with the Palestinian Authority in Washington this week.
During his comments, the Education Minister mentioned his plans to make school uniforms compulsory in all state elementary and junior high schools.
In what he referred to as a move to help the peripheral areas of Israel, Sa’ar touted the “21st century classroom” program to put state-of-the-art computer technology in every classroom.
Sa’ar said the program will first be launched in 870 schools in the north and south of Israel, saying that “we need it first in the periphery, first in the north and the south of the country.”