High schools will have a choice whether to take part in the program, which was successfully tested in northern schools last year.
The program is the initiative of the Education Ministry's state-religious education chief Avraham Lifschitz, who sees it as an opportunity to bring the two sectors together.
"We all live in a Jewish democratic state," he explained. "That is why it is extremely important to remove the divides, tighten the cooperation between the various sectors and increase dialogue within our society."
As part of the two credit points program, classes will be held alternately at the secular and religious schools in each city. The joint paper the students will work on will account for 30% of their final grade.
The program was tested last year in the Tiberias religious school and the secular Nofey Golan school in Katzrin and was hailed as a great success. The students who took part in the pilot program said that the introduction to students of the other sector was fascinating and greatly contributed to their acceptance of the other.
"This is major news, since joint studies were not seen as goals of the education system thus far," Lifschitz explained. "Nevertheless, the process is not easy and requires great courage, but we see it as a significant milestone towards better partnership."
After the holidays, the Education Ministry's management together with the Pedagogic Secretariat will try to convince school principals and civics teachers to take part in the program.
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