Friday, August 30, 2013

Revamp Educational System with Vouchers

By Moshe Feiglin

The beginning of this year’s school year falls out very close to the High Holidays. It highlights the absurdity of running our lives by both the Hebrew and general calendars.

Manhigut Yehudit’s Michael Fuah, a veteran educator, has devised a school calendar based on the Hebrew dates. With his calendar, students will no longer begin the school year, finally get acclimated in their new classrooms and then begin a long vacation for the Holidays.

The education system has problems deeper and more essential than the double calendar complication. The root of the problem is the concept of servitude. Our educational system is based on the assumption that the State (or the Minister of Education, according to law) is responsible for the education of our children. This is the source of all the problems with teachers’ salaries, the quality of education and the budget that never suffices.
The educational system should stand on the foundation of liberty. “A father is obligated to teach his son Torah,” our Sages say in the tractate of Kidushin. The father is obligated – not the State.

Society (and the State that is supposed to serve it) has a keen interest in the education of its younger generation. As such, it must ensure that every parent will have the means with which to educate his/her child. The most efficient way to accomplish this is with vouchers. Parents will receive vouchers from the State and will redeem them in the educational setting that best fits their needs. 

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