Monday, May 02, 2005

Regarding "4,500 teachers face dismissal this week", Ha'Aretz, May 2nd, 2005 ( published in Ha'Aretz, May 3rd, 2005 ): If most of the people who are about to be "axed" by Education Ministry director general Ronit Tirosh really are " 'teachers whose contribution to the education system is low', meaning teachers who are worn out, bad and those who 'harm the system' ", Mrs Tirosh and her boss, Limor Livnat, should make a true contribution to the system by axing themselves. The reason for their dismissal? Total mismanagement: such teachers should have been laid off long ago, rather than letting them work with our most precious national asset. It is more likely that this is just a very mean sneer, rubbing salt in the wounds of 4,500 men and ( mostly ) women who will soon join the ranks of the unemployed. Yet another step has been taken by Tirosh and Livnat in their ongoing battle against the teacher unions, a battle that is supposed to give Mrs Livnat another push into the direction of one day becoming our Prime Minister. Our security, the poor, the elderly, the sick, our children, nothing is too sacred to be sacrificed in this country when it comes to settling political scores and sacrificing the common good for personal or sectorial interests. Instead of truly investing in education by implementing the Dovrat recommendations as a whole, only those parts of the plan that can be used to make budget cuts are implemented by the Education Ministry, once again proving that short-term thinking is a national sport in Israel. Many of this nation's founders knew the importance of a good education. Now, low wages and a lack of esteem for teachers ( for which both the teacher unions and the Education Ministry are to blame, take for instance the low admission requirements for teachers' training colleges ) turned the profession into Israeli society's laughing stock. Today if you choose to become a teacher you are either a frayer ( sucker, the modern equivalent of what was once - when Zionism was still Zionism - an idealist ) or a student who cannot get into university.

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