Monday, May 23, 2005

#120 Natural Treasures

Musings #120
May 22, 2005
13th of Iyyar

“Natural Treasures”

I think that there should be a “people’s uprising” to protect our “natural treasures.” I’m not talking about Gush Katif or Disengagement, and I’m not referring to the sand dunes of Nitzanim, which Interior Minister Ophir Pines considers so valuable and precious.


“The sands of Nitzanim are a national resource," he said today, "that we must carefully preserve for our own sake and for future generations. We must now make sure to prevent any construction from creeping into the area of the sands." “…important national interest of preserving Israel's natural treasures."
http://www.israelnn.com/news.php3?id=82412#responses

The “Natural Treasures” that concern me are our future generations, our children, grandchildren and theirs. They are being endangered by the same government that is trying to reverse the miracles of the Six Day War and give our enemies the Land G-d liberated for our use. This isn’t about security or health; it’s about education.

When I was a student, receiving a “D” meant failure. So it’s rather ironic that this government is known for its two D’s. D for Disengagement and D for Dovrat. Both are failures. Disengagement will destroy whatever security we have, and Dovrat will cause severe decline in Israeli Education.

Thousands of teachers have already been fired because of the Dovrat recommendations. Now, I have a very simple question. How will this improve education? Class size won’t shrink if there are fewer teachers for, bli eyin haraa, our ever increasing number of school-age children. According to Dovrat the school day should be much longer, and teachers should work the same hours as clerical staff and factory workers. Young accademics should be given financial incentives to encourage them to teach, and experienced teachers will get a reduced salary or “pink slip.” Yes, one of the key recommendations of Dovrat is a total overhaul of salaries. Don’t they realize that once they reduce the salary of veteran teachers, their new ones won’t stay very long. Anyone who becomes a teacher for the money won’t be foolish enough to stay after the incentives have expired.

Employment agencies are recruiting potential teachers to work as “scabs” if there’s a major teachers strike. Yes, I’ve heard from people who have been approached. And at best these people will be used to fill-in when schools have difficulty finding qualified teachers. No where in this “restructuring” is any talk of changes in curriculum and methodology to those with proven success.

So, where’s the rebellion? I’m not talking about teachers. I’m talking about parents. Why aren’t the country’s parents taking a good look at these Dovrat recommendations? Don’t they know what’s being planned? Don’t they care who will be supervising their kids all day, and I used the term “supervise” for a reason. The kids aren’t going to be studying all those hours.

All the Israeli school buildings that had never had gymnasiums and lunchrooms haven’t sprouted them since you last looked. When I was a young student in an over-crowded, baby-boom New York City Public School, we ate our lunch in the auditorium when it was too nasty outside to walk home. How many Israeli elementary schools have auditoriums? Lunchrooms? Gymnasiusms? And if all the teachers are supposed to be in school all day everyday, where are they supposed to plan lessons and correct exams? And when can they study for advanced degrees and take professional courses?

If teachers seem tired now, just wait. But honestly, who’s going to really suffer from this rediculous experiment? The school children. Why don’t their parents care? Increasing time in school will not raise educational standards, and remember, the teachers aren’t the sole providers of education. The chief responsibility for a child’s education lies with his or her parents.

Parents, don’t wait until the damage is already done. Prevent it! Take to the streets. Protest against Dovrat for the sake of our precious children.

Batya Medad, Shiloh
Copyright©2005BatyaMedad, Contact me for publication permission; private distribution encouraged.
Shilohmuse@yahoo.com
http://shilohmusings.blogspot.com/
http://me-ander.blogspot.com/
http://www.shilo.org.il/
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 559 Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford, California 94305, USA

2 comments:

Cosmic X said...

"So, where’s the rebellion? I’m not talking about teachers. I’m talking about parents. Why aren’t the country’s parents taking a good look at these Dovrat recommendations? Don’t they know what’s being planned? Don’t they care who will be supervising their kids all day, and I used the term “supervise” for a reason. The kids aren’t going to be studying all those hours."

Perhaps the parents that care about education have long ago given up on the government schools and moved their kids to chinuch atzmai.

Batya said...

That doesn't solve the real problem, and it's not suitable for all.