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‘Let’s Bring Israel’s Schools into 21st Century’

Education Minister urges reform, promises not to fire teachers.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 4/28/2013, 2:15 PM

Children in school (illustrative)
Children in school (illustrative)
Flash 90

New Education Minister Rabbi Shai Piron (Yesh Atid) laid out his plans for Israel’s schools during an education conference in Tel Aviv on Sunday morning.

“We need to make the learning suitable for the 21st century,” he said. “That means learning that make critical thought possible, that challenges and pushes students to act. Learning that turns the student into the emissary of thought.”

“The goal is that every student be able to express himself, and to excel,” he continued.

“We have to enlist the best teachers into the school system. It is a national mission,” he said. At the same time, he added, “Teachers’ salaries will not be cut, teachers will not be fired and hours will not be cut from the current system.”

“The school system’s mission is to bring back the dream, to instill high language in the schools, a language of hope, to educate the students to commitment to values, to learn to live in a society with conflict,” Piron said.

In order to reach the Education Ministry’s many goals, he said, education must be made separate from politics. “We have to talk about long-term plans, that do not take the length of a political term into account,” he explained.

He suggested creating a National Council for Education that would create a long-term strategy for education in Israel. The strategy would be made independent of politics, and would be entrusted to teachers, parents, principals, municipal council heads, teachers’ union heads, and known figures in the humanities.