TEL AVIV (Jul. 5)
Launching what he called a “persuasion campaign” regarding a unified system of education in Israel. Prime Minister David Ben Gurion today told a Mapai teachers’ conference that “state education is the most important step to mold our presently divided tribes and sections into one Israeli nation.”
The Premier emphasized that statehood was “labor’s glorious achievement since the majority of Israelis are laborers.” He pointed out that there exist wide gaps in educational appraches in Israel, and noted that a father in a certain settlement cannot send his son to a school of his own preference. Internal differences in the labor movement in Israel, Mr. Ben Gurion said, prevent even a unified form of labor education.
State education, Mr. Ben Gurion continued, would “serve to create one united nation, and would also bring about one united labor nation.” He emphasized that state education did not aim at totalitarian education, since “we believe in human freedom.” The Israel leader said that under a system of state education, students would study agriculture, handicrafts and would receive Chalutzic training in order to “create citizens who believe in freedom, equality, justice and love for others.”
Education Minister Ben Zion Dinur said that the education bill now before the Knesset is aimed at creating “an Israel citizen who is beyond any class or party differences.” He said that under the proposed law, “teachers would be obliged to teach according to the country’s education program” and warned against any attempts to undermine the law.
Mr. Dinur promised that the new education plan would train a young generation to observe Israel’s holidays and to have a positive approach to agriculture and manual labor. “We cannot accept a situation where only 36 percent of the inhabitants are eagaged in physical labor.” he stated. “We must bring about a revolution in this field, and we must make our youth love work.” He added that teachers in Israel should be like the President – “above all private opinions or party or class politics.”