Programs for Idle Pupils

About a week after the high school teachers' strike began, the Education Ministry and the Union of Local Authorities formulated a program of enrichment activities for the forcibly idled students. An estimated 120,000 students are participating in these activities, which range from computer centers to hikes to various types of community service, such as cleaning litter at nature reserves.

Most of the activities take place in the afternoon and evening, in an attempt to prevent teens from roaming the streets. The Education Ministry supervises the programming, but implementation is being handled by the local authorities. The ministry has stressed that these programs are not meant as a substitute for school.

The funding, which amounts to about NIS 5 million a day, comes from the wages that are not being paid the striking teachers.