Minister Daniel Hershkowitz, who heads the Jewish Home party, said Monday that he has "embarked upon a struggle" to lower school fees in high-school yeshivas and ulpanas.

"The prime minister gave me a commitment that he would draw up a plan for lowering parental payments in religious education," Hershokitz said, "and we busy doing this at this time. I am very optimistic that we will achieve a gradual lowering [of the fees] and a meaningful easing [of the burden]."

Hershkowitz visited six schools in Petach Tikva Monday and gave his best wishes for the new school year to the pupils, as well as the management, teachers and parents who showed up to accompany their children.

"The education of Israel's children has a crucial influence n the nation's future," he said. "To the teachers, I wish for you to merit educating and raising flowering trees. To the students, I wish you to never stop being curious and inquisitive, and that you will bring pleasure and pride to the parents and teachers.