Despite Ban, Israeli Schools Still Have Parents Buying iPads for Kids

According to the directive, 70 percent of parents in a school must agree to the use of laptop or tablet computers and funding must be assured for those who cannot afford it.

Dan Keinan

Israeli schools continue to require students to supply their own computers despite limits imposed on their purchase.

According to an Education Ministry directive and a High Court of Justice ruling, 70 percent of parents in a school must agree to the use of laptop or tablet computers and funding must be assured for those who cannot afford it. In addition, the cost is not to exceed 450 shekels ($120).

The High Court, acting on a petition from parents who cited possible social, emotional and physical harm from increased exposure to device screens, ordered the Education Ministry to complete an official memo on the issue and submit it to the Knesset education committee.

It also ordered the ministry to respond to the petition by mid-September. Last week the parents sent letters to four schools demanding that they follow the High Court and Education Ministry directives. The letter was sent by Haran Reichman, a lawyer at the Law and Educational Policy Clinic at the University of Haifa, which is representing the parents.

Alon Ron

The letter said students at Ironi Aleph in Tel Aviv, Hof Hasharon in Shefayim and Sulam Tzor in the Western Galilee were required to spend between 1,000 shekels and 2,900 shekels for computers. The clinic says it knows of other schools where the demand is being made. The clinic invites parents who have been asked to pay more than 450 shekels for computers for their children’s school work to call 04-8249978 or 04-8280725 between 9:30 A.M. and 3 P.M.