Comptroller: Education Ministry not doing enough to fight racism

State Comptroller Shapira reports that the Education Ministry must be more proactive against racism among youngsters.

Ido Ben Porat,

State Comptroller Yosef Shapira
State Comptroller Yosef Shapira
Isaac Harari/Flash 90

State Comptroller Yosef Shapira publicized on Thursday a special report titled "Education for an Integrated Society and Racism Prevention."

The report criticizes Israeli schools and claims that the State of Israel is doing too little to encourage the country's youth to live together in peace and eradicate racism and hatred.

"The history of the Jewish nation commands us to remember, every day, the horrific consequences of racism and hatred of the other," Shapira wrote in his report.

"We need to remember the lessons of the past, the dangers inherent in racism, [and how] they may spread throughout human society. We must uproot these, [which are] growing wild and spreading, eradicating every good portion [of society]."

According to Shapira, the State of Israel has the means to eradicate this phenomenon, with the best and most important tool being proper education. During the months between March and August 2015, Shapira studied how effectively the Education Ministry teaches students to live together without racism.

The comptroller said that the Education Ministry "does not think far enough into the future to bridge [the gaps] between the different sections of Israeli society, and to unite the different religious streams."

According to him, the Board of Education did at least recognize the importance of educating [children] against racism and set as one of its goals preparing more material on the problem over the next few years. Additionally, during the summer of 2014, after there were several incidents of racist incitement during Operation Protective Edge, the Ministry's Pedagogical Unit was asked to write a curriculum on the subject.

However, the State Comptroller said that, "The Education Ministry is avoiding the steps needed to create a pedagogical, organizational, budgeted, and operational foundation, that will be able to advance the students' integration [of all sectors of society] systematically, effectively and in the long term."

"Right now, the subject only comes up randomly and at various points in time, mostly after there have been racist incidents," Shapira noted.

Shapira said that the Education Ministry must immediately attack the problem by sending clear messages and taking clear actions to prevent racism and encourage integration.

"The Education Ministry must send a clear message to every stream in the educational system, that Israel is a democratic country which belongs to all its citizens, and is built on the common values held by all the groups and individuals within it," Shapira wrote.

He added that the Education Ministry must "include other government offices and local councils, as well as organize non-governmental activities that will further education in this field."








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