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Sa'ar. To approve plan Photo: Ofer Amram
Sa'ar. To approve plan Photo: Ofer Amram

Schools to bridge racial divide

Education Ministry concerned over teen racism, forms plan to teach both races of other's culture

Tomer Velmer
Published: 06.20.11, 23:56 / Israel News

The Education Ministry has decided to bridge the divide between Jews and Arabs with a new plan, entitled 'Education for coexistence'.


According to the new initiative, teachers of grades 1-12 will study about the culture, language and heritage of the other race. In addition, the ministry will encourage Arab teachers to teach at Jewish schools, and vice-versa.


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The plan, which was initiated due to concern over racism in schools, will also include outings and joint projects such as movies, plays, sportive events, and school trips.


Ynet learned Monday that an Education Ministry committee has focused over the past two years on helping Jewish and Arab teens to coexist. The committee heard from professionals in the fields of conflict resolution and education in order to develop a plan.


The committee handed its recommendations to Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar a week ago, and he is expected to approve the plan – which will be employed in basic subjects such as Civics and Social Studies – shortly.


The committee also recommended teaching tolerance in other subjects, such as Literature, History, Geography, and Art, as well as arranging meetings between faculty members of both races.


Recent polls have found that racism abounds among Jewish and Arab high school students in Israel, and the ministry fears a further exacerbation of fear, lack of trust, and hostility.


"This is a very brave step by the Education Ministry, and its success will depend on the good will of many different people," said Dr. Bat Chen Weinheber of the Beit Berl Academic College.


"We are at a point in which we don't have the option of giving up, it's a matter of survival for the State of Israel."



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