Home room program likely to include sex ed
The Education Ministry is expected to present a core study program for a home room period for students in seventh to 12th grades.
The program, which will specify the subjects home room teachers discuss and the hours allocated to each subject, will probably include a focus on sex education and risk prone behavior.
The program was drafted by the Education Ministry's Social and Youth Administration.
Ministry sources said that although home room is compulsory, schools often use those hours to complete studies in various subjects, and refrain from dealing with social issues on a regular basis.
The ministry's senior officials support the program, but Education Minister Yuli Tamir objects to dictating a list of compulsory subjects for discussion in schools.
A senior ministry source said that Tamir believes the schools should have greater autonomy in shaping their educational activity.
The ministry is also considering setting criteria for appointing home room teachers, such as a required number of years of teaching experience or special summer study courses.
The core program stipulates 25 to 32 home room hours in seventh to 12th grade classes during the year.
Key subjects include commitment to the State of Israel, Jewish-Israeli identity, a democratic way of life, social solidarity and youth leadership, among others.
Unlike other grades, 11th and 12th grades are not required by the program to engage in any special activity to commemorate the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
Almost half of their home room periods will be dedicated to discussions of IDF enlistment and various aspects of the military service.