Israel offering bonuses to teachers who boost student enlistment

Israel is offering new salary bonuses to high school educators based on criteria including their success in motivating pupils to perform their army service, fueling criticism of alleged militarism in its education system, the Christian Science Monitor reports. The decision to give such ”differential rewards” to school staff was first reported by the Haaretz newspaper late last year, and was confirmed this week to the Monitor by the education ministry. Critics say the move, and other recent steps, could inculcate a hawkish worldview among Israeli youth and thereby make future Middle East peacemaking even more difficult. But defenders of the step say keeping draft rates high is essential for Israel’s security in a dangerous regional environment. An education ministry circular, dated Oct. 21, 2012, and sent to principals, outlines a new policy of giving bonuses as of the close of the current school year. The extra payments to teachers are to be determined according to “achievements in learning,” “social achievements,” and “achievements in values” by schools…

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