The Ministry of Education and Joint Education
The Ministry of Education is interested in promoting joint Education. A Ministry official has been assigned to deal with this field.
In addition to the “regular” allocations that joint schools recieve as public schools, the Ministry also funds:
- One additional weekly classroom hour per grade to expand Jewish studies
- A special joint education coordinator, in a part-time position
A basic budget for in-service courses for teachers to help introduce the joint education curriculum to the school (for the school’s first five years in the program).
Some time ago, the Knesset's Education Committee toured a secular-religious integrated school in Jerusalem. During the tour, one of the students approached and asked what was going on. "These members of the Knesset came to see how religious and secular students can learn together," we answered. The student looked in astonishment and said, "I know, but why is that such a big deal?"
This student had summarized the essence of integrated education in just one sentence. Those of us who were educated as youngsters in separate schools for secular and religious students, regarded this convention as a decree. But from the point of view of students who have been getting their education together, integrated schools are the most natural thing in the world.
Minister of Education Shai Piron, has shared his thoughts on integrated education on a number of occasions, speaking about schools where students with diverse identities across the religious-secular spectrum learn together. He has translated his words into action by allocating an extra NIS 4 million toward the advancement of integrated education in 2014.