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Aug 22, 2013

How to really show the importance of Yeshiva High Schools

Yitzchak Pindros, City Councilman in Jerusalem for UTJ, has revealed and exposed a letter sent by the Director of the Ministry of Education, last year, to Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat about the importance of opening Haredi Yeshiva High Schools in which the students will study a full curriculum and take the bagrut matriculation exams.

Pindros has exposed the letter to show what the Ministry of Education's target is, and also to reveal that they are working to designate a plot of land for a building for one such yeshiva high school which is currently not in Jerusalem, at the expense of the schools in Jerusalem that already have a shortage of buildings and classrooms.
(source: Ladaat)

It happens to be that I disagree with Pindros and see no problem with them seeing such schools as very important and encouraging more of them and helping them when possible. I am not commenting about a specific yeshiva and/or a specific building or plot of land and who should or should not get it, but overall I think such yeshivas should be encouraged.

After having said that, I think there is another issue that must be dealt with. If the Ministry of Education really wants to encourage such yeshivas and open more of them and grow the existing ones, as it is a matter of great importance, they should deal with the contents of a recent Ynet article in which it was revealed how exorbitant the tuition is in thee yeshiva high schools. I have a child in one of these types of schools, so Ynet was not telling me anything new, but for most people it was shocking information to see how much money parents have to pay for these schools.

if the government really wants to encourage such schools and encourage parents to send their kids to these schools, they should be subsidizing the tuition much more than they are, if they are at all. The tuition costs are so high that plenty of people would like to send to these schools, but just decide that they cannot. If the government really saw these schools as something so important, they would find ways to cut the costs to parents so the schools are more affordable.

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  1. 100% with you. It is not a cheap option. These schools cost more because the kids learn more - a lot of Torah plus they need excellent English and math teachers who can cover the curriculum in the limited hours on a high level, they need top-notch rebbes or kids will not want to come, they need to pay for three meals a day because the boys eat there (school is from 7:30 am - 8:30 pm....) But then again, it is a good investment because it costs a lot later on to go to a catch-up program before you can even begin higher education...

  2. yes, it is understandable why it costs more, but if the government really wants to encourage such institutions and ensure their success, they should be giving more funding to them, which will make it easier for parents to go that route.

  3. Agreed, the government should fund this!
    At least in RBS we are blessed to have a 100% non-profit community Mesivta boys high school, where every agura of tuition goes to pay for the food, teachers' salaries, etc...

  4. I seem to see that the government really does save a lot of money on the Haredi/religious sectors. There used to be dati high schools, but the reduced quality scared away many datiim to yeshivot tichoniot and mamad high school closed down. The yeshivot have a lot more independence but the cost is high, and after the recent Lapid-Bennet cuts, they will have to cut back on hours and lay-off teachers. Isn't it time for the dati and haredim to retake the high schools the government should be providing?

  5. A lot of the yeshiva high schools are "amutot" and don't get full support from the government. That's the big problem. I stopped teaching English in one, because I could no longer handle the difficult lack of transportation. In govt schools the govt provides transportation to teachers in rural areas when there aren't direct buses.

  6. I think the government is cutting transportation this year. I always thought that teachers had it very nicely with that door-to-door perk, but frankly, I thought it was good for many many reasons.


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