Posts Tagged ‘education’
A lawsuit by 53 young men who studied at strictly Hareidi yeshivas are suing Israel for the school system’s not having taught them basic skills that are needed to work, according to an ABC News reported filed by The Associated Press.
An organization called “Out for a Change” is behind the lawsuit that argues that the lack of skills in math, English and computers have left the plaintiffs without the basics that other Israeli students received, enabling them to progress into the job force.
The suit charges the “political pressure” has forced the government’s hand to acquiesce to Hareidi yeshivas that shun secular subjects, which Hareidi school systems teach only on a limited basis and only through seventh grade.
The former Hareidim also are asking the government to establish a fund to help men and women who leave the Hareidi world learn secular subjects from which they were barred as youth.
AP added that Hareidi activist Shmuel Poppenheim said that the lawsuit might change some attitudes in the Hareidi community.
The government has just announced a new incentive for students who complete five units on the mathematics bagrut (matriculation) exam in high school.
(Ed. – The “bagrut” is the final exam administered to high school students in Israel, similar to the Regents’ exams taken by high school students in New York.)
The bonus, initiated by Education Minister Naftali Bennett, is an extra 35 points added to the overall score on the bagrut when the student applies to enter university.
It is intended to encourage more students to enter the field of higher mathematics.
Up to this point, the government has offered a bonus of 25 points as an incentive to study mathematics.
“I was happy to discover that, within a short time, all Israeli universities adopted my request,” Bennett said in a statement on Sunday. “This is an unprecedented mobilization for Israel’s students and for strengthening the study of mathematics.”
He urged students “who are debating between four and five units [to] make the effort.”
Bennett’s new bonus pushes the award up by an additional 10 points – but it also widens the gap between students who end their exam at four units – and receive only a 12.5 point bonus – and those who persevere to the fifth level.
All of Israel’s leading universities have accepted the initiative and will participate in awarding the bonus incentives to students.
These include: Ariel University, Bar Ilan University, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and University of Haifa.
The study of higher mathematics is essential to the continuity and future development of Israel’s technological base, government officials have said. Maintaining the edge in cyber defense and cyber warfare is only a small part of that field.
Developing new technologies for water conservation, renewable energy and medical breakthroughs, let alone other manufacturing areas, all require a thorough grounding in higher mathematics; hence the focus on encouraging students to enter the field.
(JNi.media) Director of the ultra-Orthodox Dept. in the Ministry of Education Meir Shimoni recently revealed some of his office’s plans and objectives in a speech he gave at the Center for the Study of ultra-Orthodox Society, Kikar Hashabbat reported Monday. Shimoni’s statements have arouse a huge storm among heads of Haredi educational institutions and increased their concern regarding an intervention of the Ministry of Education not only in administrative matters but also in matters of curricula and children’s education.
Among other things, Shimoni said that his office is engaged in a “significant and historic groundbreaking,” recalling that “what happened with the ultra-Orthodox sector was very simple,” Shimoni said, “It was very convenient for the state over the past 40-60 years to come to the ultra-Orthodox society and tell them, here’s 5 billion shekel, take the money and do with it what you wish. That’s how things rolled on and on. Various norms were created. They didn’t deal with the core curricula, or the quality of teaching and learning, and everyone did as they saw fit.”
According to Shimoni, the Education Ministry is now determined to improve the ultra-Orthodox educational system. He said there are individuals both inside and outside the ultra-Orthodox society eager to institute these changes. They just need to be connected together.
Saying he is determined to use a carrot and stick approach, “a lot of carrot, only a little stick,” Shimoni spoke about the issue of integrating Haredim in the job market: “If we review the demographics, then by 2040, possibly towards 2050, if the ultra-Orthodox sector stays on its current trajectory, it would constitute about 50% of the Jewish population. That’s the data, give or take, and if we want that this 50% will be integrated into society, employment, the military, the security, all of that, we must take care of the education system yesterday.”
Shimoni insisted that the Education Ministry’s plan is to move at a moderate pace, “not by force but with smarts, with a great deal of caring and sensitivity, but also with determination, never give up the goal.”
Shimoni was appointed by the former Education Minister, Shai Piron, an appointee of Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid, who had made forcing ultra-Orthodox integration one of his main agenda topics, concentrating on an “equal burden” policy in IDF conscription. The new Education Minister, Naftali Bennett is considered friendlier to the ultra-Orthodox, being a religious Jew himself.
(JNi.media) The Ministerial Committee on Legislation on Sunday approved a bill by MK Oren Hazan (Likud), making it mandatory for all Jewish students in Israel to learn spoken Arabic, starting in the first grade, while Arab students will be required to learn Hebrew at the same age. “I am delighted that during the peak of a new wave of terrorism, the Ministerial Committee for Legislative Affairs, together with Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who helped, has accepted a bill of this magnitude,” said MK Hazan in response. “The proposal is the government’s message to the public regarding acts promoting coexistence and calming spirits.”
Hazan continued: “Especially these days, when terrorism prevails and coexistence is undermined, it is important to lower the flames and to create a bridge made up of language, cultural understanding and rapprochement among the citizens of the state, and there is nothing better than understanding the language to understand the culture and mentality of a million and a half Arab citizens in Israel and hundreds of millions of Arabic speakers across the Middle East.”
The young Knesset member, who has been the target of every establishment figure in Israel across the political spectrum, after he entered the Knesset, over what many saw as a checkered past (he was accused of ingesting hard drugs despite the fact that he suffers from a respiratory disease that makes such an activity deadly), said that the “approval of the law of Hebrew and Arabic study in the first grade for all students in Israel is a binding bridge. I have no doubt that when the Jewish public will understand the Arabic language as the Arab public will understand the Hebrew language, we will all see better days.”
The Ministerial Legislation Committee is composed of representatives of all the factions in the coalition, and its decisions are binding to all Knesset coalition members, so chances are this bill will become a law in short order.
And so, unexpectedly, an MK whom Defense Minister Ya’alon accused of disgracing the Likud, and the Israeli police were looking for ways to indict for managing a casino in Bulgaria before taking office — ended up suggesting a concrete solution to the yawning gap between Arabs and Jews.
At this stage of the game, many new Hazan fans in Israel argue that, so far, neither Ya’alon nor the police have come up with anything nearly as promising.
(JNi.media) Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, AMCHA Initiative co-founder and director, issued a statement in response to recent anti-Semitic graffiti at UC Davis, saying, “What happened at UC Davis is incredibly frightening and alarming,” and noting that “to those of us monitoring this closely, it is clear the wave of anti-Semitism that has haunted UC’s Jewish students over the past few years is only escalating and must be addressed.”
Last Saturday, cars and walls at a UC Davis campus parking lot, outside an apartment complex, were defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti, swastikas and hate messages, including the message “[Expletive] Jews.” Chancellor Linda Katehi said in a statement earlier this week: “I am deeply troubled and disappointed that the campus community has experienced another incident that included damaged property and, even more grievously, offensive and disparaging slurs. This is conduct most unbecoming and completely against our principles of community.”
“We applaud Chancellor Katehi for swiftly condemning this most recent anti-Semitic act at UC Davis and calling for a welcoming, tolerant and safe community,” Rossman-Benjamin said, but insisted that “it is critical the UC Regents adopt the State Department definition of anti-Semitism to educate students and faculty about how some of the extreme rhetoric often used during divisive BDS campaigns breeds a climate of hate that encourages anti-Semitic incidents like this.”
The US State Department definition recognizes that contemporary anti-Semitism has assumed various disguised forms and, as the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights found, is often “camouflaged as anti-Israelism or anti-Zionism.” The State Department definition acknowledges activity that demonizes and delegitimizes Israel and denies its right to exist as anti-Semitism.
According to AMCHA, UC has experienced many incidents of anti-Jewish discrimination this past academic year, including swastikas spray-painted on a Jewish fraternity after fraternity brothers spoke against divesting from Israel, “grout out the Jews” and “Hitler did nothing wrong” carved into school property after contentious BDS campaigns, a Hillel event for the LGBT community protested and disrupted by anti-Israel students and faculty, flyers blaming Israel AND all Jews for 9/11 plastered on campus and a Jewish student running for office questioned about her eligibility by anti-Israel activists simply because of her religion. UC Jewish students report feeling afraid to tell fellow students they are Jewish, walk to the Hillel house for Sabbath dinner and wear a Jewish star necklace. Many report being bullied, harassed, intimidated and assaulted.
The UC Regents recently formed a working group to address anti-Semitism on campus. Over the past six months, more than 50 Jewish organizations, including ADL, AJC, Hillel, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and AMCHA and more than 3,000 UC students, faculty, alumni, California residents, rabbis, Jewish day school principals and educators, including the world’s preeminent scholars of anti-Semitism, have written to UC in support of adopting an accurate definition of modern anti-Semitism to properly identify and educate the campus community about contemporary Jew-hatred. Specifically, the groups have urged the adoption of the State Department definition of anti-Semitism.
The Jerusalem municipality joined the city parents’ association to declare a school strike Thursday for students in grades 9-12 to protest inadequate government security funding.
High schools throughout Jerusalem will be on strike as both the city and the parents demand the government pay for security measures that will protect schools throughout the school day.
Elementary schools are in session as usual.
“As long as the government is shirking its responsibility for school security, we will not abandon our children,” explained Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat in a statement released Wednesday night.
According to the statement, security for Jerusalem schools is funded only until 1:30 pm.
Security coverage at school is not funded after that time, and those communities who cannot afford to pay for it may simply have no coverage until the end of the school day.