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Friday, February 22, 2013 

Efforts made to get Haredi schools to include standardized education elements added

A judge for the supreme court in Israel has demanded the education ministry take steps to get the Haredi yeshivas to start including lessons other than simply Torah studies in their curriculum, or else the yeshivas could face sanctions:
Supreme Court President Asher Grunis on Wednesday gave the Education Ministry 100 days to come up with a solution the would enable ultra-Orthodox students to take national standardized tests, and warned that if it failed to do so, schools whose pupils didn’t take the tests could face sanctions.

The decision comes amid an escalated recent debate regarding state funding for schools that don’t teach English, math and other “core” subjects.

The exams in question are taken by Israeli students in the 5th and 8th grades, gauging their knowledge of English, mathematics and science as well as their native language (Hebrew or Arabic), and indexing results over time. Students in the 2nd grade are tested only on their mother tongue.

All of the tests are based on the core subjects that every school is meant to teach its pupils — subjects largely ignored by ultra-Orthodox educational institutions, even those funded by the state.

[...] The court “sent an unequivocal message to the Education Ministry,” telling it to stop turning a blind eye to the situation in ultra-Orthodox education, Rabbi Gilad Kariv of the movement told Yedioth Ahronoth. “This message must be translated into significant action by the government.”
Precisely. The Shas party is objecting on the grounds that it'd "cancel" Torah studies, which is nonsense, of course. They can have specific classes and times for Torah and Bible studies and other times for math, language and science studies. But in all their insular headsets, they simply cannot bring themselves to accept why it's important to get their students to take lessons like those as well. So, that's why serious steps must be taken to make it clear to them why this charade cannot go on.

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