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Monday, August 27

"As it turns out, the Israeli Ministry's program for the ultra-Othodox is a sham
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When Ignorance Is Haredi And Paid For By The Government

Haredi kids eyes covered cropped"As it turns out, the ministry's program for the ultra-Othodox is a sham, and it undermines the basic rationale of having a mandatory core curriculum. Core curriculum studies in ultra-Orthodox schools do not include English or science, and it is only compulsory to study math at elementary level. Instead, the ministry's program features subjects studied in any Orthodox institution: the sacred texts and Hebrew. So it turns out that this is not a core curriculum in any educational sense; rather, its purpose is to hold together the core of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition."
25% of all first grade students in Israel this year will be from haredi families. Yet almost all haredi schools do not teach the country's core curriculum, and haredi students – especially boys – normally get no real secular education.
But Israel's right wing government, which needs haredi political support, certifies almost all of these deficient haredi schools as compliant. Why?
Shahar ilan, the deputy director of Hiddush (and a former Ha'aretz reporter),answers that question and fleshes out those deficiencies in Ha'aretz:
…The facts underlying this riddle appear in a report titled "Core curriculum studies in the ultra-Orthodox education system" released by the Knesset Research and Information Center. As it turns out, the ministry's program for the ultra-Othodox is a sham, and it undermines the basic rationale of having a mandatory core curriculum. Core curriculum studies in ultra-Orthodox schools do not include English or science, and it is only compulsory to study math at elementary level. Instead, the ministry's program features subjects studied in any Orthodox institution: the sacred texts and Hebrew. So it turns out that this is not a core curriculum in any educational sense; rather, its purpose is to hold together the core of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition.…
The vast majority of ultra-Orthodox boys are enrolled in educational institutions defined either as "recognized but not official," or as exempted (meaning that the level of monitoring of their programs is very low ).

…These are institutions that receive state funds. Exempted institutions receive 55 percent of what state schools are given, while recognized but unofficial institutions get 75 percent. So what sort of education is the state funding in these institutions? With respect to the core curriculum in exempted institutions (grades four to six ), the ministry gives permission for no English to be taught at all. In the second category of nonofficial schools, English studies are negligible: two hours a week.…
The total number of hours devoted to subjects other than Hebrew and religious instruction in exempted schools, in grades four to six, is about six, and this figure includes an hour for sports or arts and an hour for so-called civic studies (which can be devoted to religious subjects ). In recognized but unofficial schools, the total number of general studies hours is eight, including sports and civic studies.…
Besides the negative implications for the country as a whole, this lack of science education severely impacts haredim, who grow up lacking the tools to understand the implications of basic public health and medical science issues – like germ transmission, for example.
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