For the first time, Israel’s Ministry of Education has adopted recommendations offered by the Steering Committee for Shared Living, a body that includes NIF grantee Sikkuy-Aufoq. The Ministry of Education’s decision to adopt the Steering Committee’s recommendations on “Shared Education” presents a real opportunity to equip future generations of Israelis of all types and backgrounds with better tools to promote a genuinely shared society.
Sikkuy-Aufoq Shared Society Department Co-director Ya’ala Mazor wrote for Israel’s most-read daily online, Ynet, that, currently, Arabs, secular Jews, Orthodox Jews, and ultra-Orthodox Jews all learn in separate schools and lack any sense whatsoever of what happens in other classrooms.
“But now all this could change,” she writes. “For the first time the Ministry of Education put together an organized policy for shared living in education and against racism. This change could be a historic milestone. For the first time the Ministry of Education itself is beginning to define policies in which every district and every school can also educate for shared living, including between Arabs and Jews, and to work against racism, institutionally recognizing that it exists in the schools.
“The significance of the policy is that the subject will be taught in all teacher trainings and every school principal will have to ensure that at least one of its programs provides tools for shared living. Some of the changes will already begin next month. For example, the recommendation requires that all pupils already need to learn a second language in elementary school – acknowledging that knowing each other’s languages can promote better neighborly relations.”