Considerably more needy students will be able to participate in school trips to Poland following a subsidy plan announced by Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar on Monday.
The new model proposes allocating an annual sum of NIS 50 million (roughly $15 million) to subsidize the trips of needy students to Poland. This will result in a drastic increase in the number of participants in school delegations receiving state funding – 40,000 compared to several thousand today.
A trip to Poland is estimated at NIS 5,500 (roughly $1,600) per student and is considered by many a luxury only the rich can afford.
March of the Living in Poland (Photo: AFP)
The Education and Finance ministries together with the Union of Local Authorities have worked on the new subsidy plan which will be implemented as of 2012.
The Education Ministry will allocate NIS 35 million ($10.3 million) for the program while the Union of Local Authorities will provide the rest of the sum. The new model will classify students according their economic status. The students will receive anywhere between a 30%-70% discount.
"This move has national and social significance. It emphasizes the importance of travels to Poland which strengthen Jewish identity and Holocaust remembrance," Sa'ar said.
"It is also important on the social level in lifting an unjust obstacle. For years there was a discussion on the importance of teenage delegations but this was never reflected terms of budget."