Teenagers in an alternative school program were surprised this week to discover the following question on a worksheet on “Nazi ideology and policy”: “From your acquaintance with the peoples that live in Israel, which is the superior race and which is the inferior race?”
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The students were part of the Hila program in Petah Tikvah — Hila provides education for teenagers who have dropped out of the state school system. Some 8,000 students are enrolled in the program nationwide. The teachers are employed as subcontractors and not by the Education Ministry.
The worksheet was a prep sheet for a test culminating 10 years of Holocaust studies; for these students the test takes the place of Israel’s matriculation exam in history.
One teacher said she was just as surprised as her students about the question. She said the worksheet was part of reading material prepared by a teacher who no longer works for Hila.
Reshet Atid, Hila teachers' employer, said it regrets that the student received material that included the "hurtful question," condemning it as contrary to the company's values. Reshet Atid added that the teaching material was composed privately by a former teacher, and accidently given to the student by a municipality employee.
The Education Ministry said in response that "these are messages that have no place in the education system, which educates its student values of tolerance, equality, and love for man, whoever he is." The ministry added that "the curriculum of the Hila program is supervised, and is in complete accordance with the Education Ministry's core studies program. It is emphasized that the ministry prohibits the usage of unofficial teaching materials. It is important to note that the student consulted unofficial material, which isn't sanctioned by the ministry's professionals and isn't approved by the ministry."