Principals of Chareidi girls’ high schools accuse the Ministry of Education of trying to forcibly involve itself in school Hashkafa issues.
It is reported that the Education Ministry has established an appeals committee for girls who have not been accepted to schools for next year, dealing with girls nationwide. The head of the Chareidi branch of the ministry is also the head of this committee.
However, the previous director left the position two months ago, and the ministry has appointed a replacement, Gila Nagar. It is explained that while she is “truly a wonderful person, she hasn’t the slightest clue or familiarity when it comes to Chareidi lifestyle”.
The committee has met in recent days and addressed cases of girls who are without schools for the coming year. The situation according to some seminary principals mimics the days of the previous government when the Education Minister was Yesh Atid-affiliated Shai Piron. Kikar Shabbos News adds, that according to ministry guidelines, one of the prerequisites for receiving high school students is to conduct tests for students and an inseparable part of these tests, there are questions about the subject of Judaism and their hashkafa.
From time to time, the committee asked seminaries to submit copies of the exams taken by the students to ensure that everything was conducted as it should, but the committee never interfered with the pedagogic and theoretical content of the test, some of which address the core Hashkafa of the Chareidi lifestyle.
This week, the appeals committee, in a precedent-setting manner, ordered the institution to accept the daughter of a teacher even though she did not pass the exam threshold, after the ministry examined the tests and adjusted the grades of the students.
According to the directors of the institutions and the association of seminar directors, this is a real storm, since ministry officials changed the exam to reflect a different outlook.
For example, regarding the question of the meaning for “someone who takes advice from the Chachamim,” the expected answer to this in a Chareidi school is to accept an ‘Eitza from Gedolei Yisrael’. The student in question answered that this is ‘following advice from parents’ – and it was rejected. However, the ministry decided the response of “advice from parents” was correct, amended the student’s grade and informed the institution in a letter that the girl meets the threshold conditions and must be accepted.
School heads are calling this “blatant ministry interference”. The Association of Seminary Directors has called for an urgent hearing on the matter and approached the Director-General of the Education Ministry.
Kikar News adds it contacted the Education Ministry for a response, which was not received.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)