Mar 23, 2017

Quote of the Day

The time has come to have equality regarding inspections among all the educational institutions that are funded by the State. There is no reason to discriminate specifically against the torah institutions, to count them as if they are refugees or prison inmates, while academic institutions are granted complete independence..... when will there be equality in inspections and reviews between all funded institutions both higher education academic and torah institutions?

  -- MK Yisrael Eichler (UTJ), after a number of yeshivas were recently subjected to inspections on Purim day and sanctioned for students not being present.

The main difference, I think, between the types of institutions is that in the "torah institutions" (read: yeshivas and kolels) basically anything goes - there might be a test for admissions into the yeshiva, but after that there is no measure of performance, no tests, no graduation, no critical development, while in academic institutions there is regular testing and submissions of work and performance reviews.. it is far easier for the State to know what is going on and examine that which is produced by the academic institutions and therefore fund them, than it is to do so by the yeshivas. By the yeshivas they are flying blind and have no idea if the money is going to further education or to line someone's pockets or if it is being used efficiently for the purpose for which it is given. They don't even know who really shows up and who does or does not do any work in the yeshiva system, while in academic institutions attendance is taken and test results are published, etc.  They have to perform somewhat regular inspections on the yeshivas to get at least some minimal information.





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8 comments:

  1. There's also the fact that those studying in Torah institutions are generally using that study as a reason to defer army service - while those in academic institutions have generally already completed such service and are free to do what they want. As such, there is much less incentive for a college student to stay enrolled if not actually studying - and it's not the government's issue if such student cuts classes.

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  2. good point. I would qualify the first sentence by saying "some of those studying torah.."

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    1. I did use "generally" as a qualifier in the first sentence. Same meaning as what you propose.

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  3. Granted the State does need to check in person that their money is actually going for the purpose it was intended. However, it also has to be done with common sense and without an agenda (a rather malicious one, it seems to me). This is Israel. I realize not everyone is religious, or even Jewish. However, Purim is part of the prevailing culture and a part that from polls, even secular people are aware of and participate in. You would expect the departments charged with making the inspections to be aware of it. You can reasonably expect the inspectors to know that Purim is not a regular day at one's shtender. So one can wonder about an inspection scheduled for Purim and then fining them for students being absent not being done in good faith. It does not seem to be done for the entirely appropirate purpose of seeing that the students enrolled are actually attending the institution and calling MK Rabbi Eichler on being upset about this one seems rather strange to me.

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    1. Perhaps the issue is that if yeshivos are specifying which days they are in session - and getting subsidies on that basis - then the vacation schedule should be accurate. It's obvious that Purim is a vacation day. But I agree that there should be some common sense - notify the yeshivos that claim to be in session on Purim that if whatever attendance requirements will not be met, that the administration would be wise to declare a make-up day ahead of time.

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  4. there is always an excuse. from Rosh Chodesh Adar the yeshiva bachurim are missing a lot of time going around the country collecting money for the yeshiva (for the "tat" or whatever). If the inspectors would come during the first two weeks of Adar and find boys missing and warn them or punish them, the community would also be upset saying it is Adar and it is expected to go out. If they would go to some yeshivas, they'd find boys out missing regularly because of participation in regular hafganas. There is always an excuse why the inspectors are just being anti-Haredi. Yes, Purim is a silly day for an inspection and they should use common sense, but we all know that the Charedi community complains about these things no matter when they happen.

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    1. Right. Let's go into a secular institution on Yom HaAztmaut and fine them for the students being out of class. I'm sure there are other ones, but my children haven't been through the university and I have no idea what off days or days that would be attended lightly as semi-official holidays there are but no doubt there's something. You could argue that universities officially shut down on those days and yeishivot really never shut down except maybe, bein hazmanim. But yes, I agree that this business of having the boys go out during school time isn't acceptable either. On the other hand, schools that were contientious about that had their boys out raising money at 10 p.m. and later and I was less than happy to have the doorbell rung then either. But I'm not sure its the job of the students to be fundraisers. Different issue though.

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