Finally, after searching high and low for a common denominator post that will resonate equally among all Israelis, I have decided that enough is enough.
If there is one issue that we can all rally around, it is the annual, insane cost of school books.
Since the vast majority of school children in Israel benefit from State-funded public education, it is insane that school books are the responsibility of the parents.
According to a recent Knesset Committee report, the average 3rd grade student needs to pay 550 NIS per year for school books, and the average 4rth grade student, 590 NIS. As your kids advance in school, the charge for school books goes up.
The most depressing item is the statement that: "The Ministry of Education does not regulate school books. The expense of publication of new books and revisions is wasteful, and the parents pay the price."
Instead of having a printed, hard cover text book that gets reused from year to year, exasperated parents need to buy brand new revisions, with workbooks that are only partially used every year (and then thrown away/recycled). Why aren't students required to simply copy the questions over into a notebook, along with the answers?
While frustrating to students, this is one of the most time-tested and true methods of remembering material.
Not only is the payment for the books a problem, but the pain in the backside of having to buy all the books, per child, which are never fully in stock, and never all at the same book store.
"Oh, we don't have that book in stock yet...try again in a week...or try another store..." -- and if you have a few children, this entire nerve wracking episode is completely superfluous. Why aren't all the books available -- from the school, for free? Heck, I'd even pay some money if the school would take care of providing all the textbooks.
Of course, who gains from this wasteful situation? The book publishers, who gleefully rake in the profits over the lack of Ministry of Education regulation...
Apparently, MK Anastasia Michaelli is leading the campaign for better solutions. I hope that she manages to improve the current situation.
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