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Some 400 schools, mostly state-religious, yesterday marked Gush Katif Day. The event was organized at the initiative of the Gush Katif Committee and with the approval of the Education Ministry's religious education administration.

At some of the schools, the activities - which included meetings with former Gush Katif residents and other educational exercises - ran over several days.

A principal of one of the schools that marked Gush Katif Day commented that, "It is important that we give our students the chance to learn first-hand about the history of Gush Katif and how settlement ceased there. In addition to lectures, we hung pictures and posters throughout the school and the social studies period was also devoted to the subject. The discussion in class wasn't always easy, but it was important."

Another teacher said his school had emphasized "how we continue to be one people despite all the difficulties the subject raises."

According to Irit Berger, who coordinated the project on behalf of the Gush Katif Committee, about 90 percent of the schools that participated were religious.

She explained that religious schools were approached to participate because it was easier to raise the subject there first. She indicated that the number of participating secular schools would be increased next year.