Israeli schools to launch Jewish-Arab coexistence program
Israel's Ministry of Education said Tuesday that it was embarking on a new plan aimed at bridging cultural and social gaps between Israeli Jews and Arabs, Xinhua reported.
For the last two years, conflict resolution and educational experts led a ministerial committee in developing guidelines to aid Jewish and Arab teens in better familiarizing themselves with each others' culture, the Yediot Aharonoth newspaper reported Tuesday.
Through the new initiative, first to 12th grade educators will study each others' culture, heritage and language, and will be encouraged to gain hands-on experience by teaching in the other side's school.
The committee handed the plan to Education Minister Gideon Sa' ar a week ago, and expects to implement the program in Civics and Social Studies lessons in the coming school year.
In the last few months, several surveys have shown a widening gap between Jews and Arabs, especially among teenagers, and experts fear the rift will exacerbate mistrust between both sides in coming years.
The plan will also include various activities allowing Jewish and Arab teenagers to mingle, such as school outings, and attending sports events, films, plays and exhibitions together.