Full Text Israel Political Brief May 21, 2013: PM Benjamin Netanyahu Meets with Student Leaders from Around the Country on the Occasion of National Student Day

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

PM Netanyahu Meets with Student Leaders from Around the Country on the Occasion of National Student Day

Source: PMO, 5-21-13

יום שלישי י”ב סיון תשע”ג

Photo by GPO

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on the occasion of National Student Day, today in his Jerusalem office, met with student leaders from around the country, including National Union of Israel Students Chairman Uri Reshtik. Also participating in the meeting were Education Minister Shai Piron, Deputy Minister for Youth and Student Affairs Ofir Akunis and Prime Minister’s Office director-General Harel Locker.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said: “There are needs that must be dealt with but there are also great changes. We stopped very negative trends in education in general and in higher education in particular, and we have begun to turn them around after the ‘lost decade.’ The previous and current governments were and are committed to investing over NIS 7 billion in higher education and this is what led to the turnaround. There are still needs such as lowering the cost of housing and the cost of living, and these must be invested in and broken; we will act in this sphere as well. We must improve the education that we provide, from preschool to higher education and beyond, and make it more efficient. The electronic revolution requires us to jump forward, and be ahead of the world, not behind it. Alongside technology, I think that we cannot neglect our heritage and the spiritual values that are important to us.”

National Union of Israel Students Chairman Reshtik thanked the Prime Minister for his willingness to mark National Student Day. He added: “Israeli students take responsibility for the society in which they live; therefore, they request that the government to build the appropriate infrastructure that would allow students to be productive citizens who contribute to society and thus significantly influence making ours into a more just society. This infrastructure includes investing in higher education, inter alia, by making it more accessible to residents of the periphery and helping immigrant, minority and economically disadvantaged students. Such an investment is pure profit for the Israeli economy which will benefit from the integration of more academics in the labor force.”

Education Minister Piron said: “Marking National Student Day expresses our recognition of the student public to the development of the State of Israel and Israeli society, and it gives the message that the State of Israel ascribes great importance to developing its human capital. Higher education is the main key toward integrating into society. In the end, the student public joins the labor market and translates its studies into action. Therefore, cooperation between institutions of higher education, society industry and the economy is of crucial importance.” Minister Piron announced that he intends to advance the accessibility of higher education to all sectors as part of a comprehensive approach regarding equal opportunity in society and the use of higher education as a primary tool in advancing equality and strengthening the link between preschool-to-secondary studies and higher education. He added: “The educational system must define matriculation exams that match the needs of academia. On the other hand, there is a need for academia to adapt itself to the needs of the Education Ministry regarding its limitations and educational goals.  I have set a strategic goal – that we will not need all the institutions that intermediate between secondary education and academia or at least reduce the dependence on them. This adaptation is especially relevant given the Education Ministry’s plan to reduce the matriculation exams and strengthen the pedagogic responsibility of school principals.”

Deputy Minister Akunis referred to the Finance Ministry’s intention to eliminate the tax credit for academics: “I am in touch with the Finance Minister on this issue in the hope of bringing about a re-evaluation of the cancellation of the benefit. Today more than ever, it is important to invest in advancing students and the higher education system since they are the maim potential for growth in the Israeli economy.” Deputy Minister Akunis called on Education Minister Piron to join in the effort, adding, “The tax credit is an incentive for many people to attend the academic institutions in Israel and acquire a higher education.”

                          

ראש הממשלה נתניהו נפגש עם יושבי ראש אגודות הסטודנטים מרחבי הארץ לרגל יום הסטודנט הלאומי

Source: PMO, 5-21-13

יום שלישי י”ב סיון תשע”ג

נתניהו: עצרנו מגמות מאוד שליליות בתחומי החינוך בכלל וההשכלה הגבוהה בפרט והתחלנו לסובב אותן אחרי ‘העשור האבוד’

לרגל יום הסטודנט הלאומי, נפגש היום ראש הממשלה בנימין נתניהו במשרדו עם יושבי ראש אגודות הסטודנטים מרחבי הארץ בראשות יו”ר התאחדות הסטודנטים הארצית אורי רשטיק. בפגישה השתתפו שר החינוך שי פירון, סגן השר הממונה על קידום צעירים וסטודנטים אופיר אקוניס ומנכ”ל משרד ראש הממשלה הראל לוקר.

ראש הממשלה בנימין נתניהו אמר בפגישה: “יש צרכים שצריך לטפל בהם, אבל יש גם שינויים גדולים. עצרנו מגמות מאוד שליליות בתחומי החינוך בכלל וההשכלה הגבוהה בפרט והתחלנו לסובב אותן אחרי ‘העשור האבוד’. הממשלה הקודמת והנוכחית מחויבות להשקיע למעלה מ- 7 מיליארד שקלים בהשכלה הגבוהה וזה מה שמביא לסיבוב. עדיין קיימים צרכים כמו הורדת מחירי הדיור ויוקר המחיה, וצריך להשקיע בזה ולשבור את זה, וגם במישור הזה אנחנו נפעל. עלינו להשביח ולייעל את החינוך שאנחנו נותנים מהגיל הרך ועד גמר ההשכלה הגבוהה ואחרי ההשכלה הגבוהה. המהפכה האלקטרונית מחייבת אותנו לזנק קדימה, להקדים את העולם ולא להיות מאחוריו. ולצד הטכנולוגיה, אני חושב שאסור לנו להזניח את המורשת, וערכי רוח שהם חשובים לנו”.

יו”ר התאחדות הסטודנטים, אורי רשטיק, הודה לראש הממשלה על נכונותו לציין את יום הסטודנט. רשטיק הוסיף: “הסטודנטים בישראל, לוקחים אחריות על החברה בה הם חיים ולכן הם מבקשים מהממשלה להניח את התשתית הראויה, שתאפשר לסטודנטים  להיות אזרחים יצרניים שתורמים לחברה, ובכך להשפיע משמעותית בהפיכת החברה הישראלית להוגנת יותר. תשתית זו כוללת השקעה במערכת ההשכלה הגבוהה, בין היתר, באמצעות הנגשתה לתושבי הפריפריה ובסיוע לסטודנטים עולים, מעוטי יכולת וחסרי אמצעים. השקעה מסוג זה היא רווח נקי למשק הישראלי שיוכל ליהנות משילוב של יותר אקדמאים בשוק התעסוקה”.

שר החינוך שי פירון: “ציון יום הסטודנט מבטא את הכרתנו בתרומתו של ציבור הסטודנטים להתפתחותה ולעיצובה של מדינת ישראל והחברה הישראלית והוא מעביר מסר שבמרכזו החשיבות שמייחסת מדינת ישראל לטיפוח ההון האנושי שבה. ההשכלה הגבוהה היא המפתח המרכזי להשתלבות בחברה. ציבור הסטודנטים יוצא בסופו של יום אל שוק העבודה ומתרגם את לימודיו למעשה. על כן ישנה חשיבות מרכזית ליצירת הלימה ושיתוף פעולה בין המוסדות להשכלה גבוהה לבין החברה, התעשייה והמשק”. פירון הודיע כי בכוונתו לקדם את הנגישות להשכלה הגבוהה בכלל המגזרים זאת כחלק מתפיסה כוללת של שוויון הזדמנויות בחברה והיותה של ההשכלה כלי ראשון במעלה לקידום השוויון, ולחזק את הקשר בין הלימודים במערכת החינוך עד גיל תיכון לבין הלימודים במסגרת ההשכלה הגבוהה. “יש צורך שמערכת החינוך תקבע בגרויות התואמות את צרכי האקדמיה, ומן הצד השני יש צורך שהאקדמיה תתאים עצמה לצרכי משרד החינוך למגבלותיו וליעדיו החינוכיים. הצבתי יעד אסטרטגי – שלא נזדקק לכל המוסדות המתווכים בין התיכון והאקדמיה או לכל הפחות נצמצם את התלות בהם. ההתאמה הזו רלבנטית ביתר שאת נוכח התוכנית של משרד החינוך לצמצום הבגרויות ולחיזוק אחריות ההוראה של המנהלים בבתי הספר”.

סגן השר אופיר אקוניס התייחס לכוונת האוצר לבטל את נקודת הזיכוי במס לאקדמאים. “אני מקיים הידברות בנושא עם שר האוצר במטרה להביא לבחינה מחודשת של ביטול ההטבה. היום יותר מתמיד חשוב להשקיע בקידום הסטודנטים ומערכת ההשכלה הגבוהה, שכן הם פוטנציאל הצמיחה העיקרי של המשק הישראלי”. סגן השר אקוניס קרא גם לשר החינוך פירון להירתם לטובת העניין: “נקודת הזיכוי מהווה תמריץ עבור אנשים רבים לפקוד את המוסדות האקדמיים בישראל ולרכוש השכלה גבוהה”.

Israel Political Brief May 23, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu Meets with National Union of Israel Students Leaders from Around the Country on the Occasion of National Student Day

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

PM Netanyahu Meets with National Union of Israel Students Leaders from Around the Country on the Occasion of National Student Day

Photo by GPO

Source: PMO, 5-23-12

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today, on the occasion of National Student Day, in his office, met with National Union of Israel Students leaders from around the country, led by NUIS Chairman Irzik Shmuli. Education Minister Gideon Saar, Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat, Deputy Minister for Student Affairs Gila Gamliel and Deputy Minister for Senior Citizen Affairs Leah Nass also attended the meeting.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “We have a great commitment to higher education. It starts with investments in resolving students’ problems in order to help them learn and lead the State of Israel in all fields – security, society, the economy, science and others.” The Prime Minister also commented on the Government’s actions to lower the cost of living for students and citizens: “Competition is the most social thing there is. We are working to increase competition and thereby lower the cost of living. See what has happened to the price of cellular phones, for example. Also in the housing sphere, we are working to break the state’s monopoly on land in order to lower housing costs. Additionally, we are working on behalf of young couples, some of whom are students, and in the coming months we will implement the law on free education from age three.”

NUIS Chairman Shmuli noted the complete cooperation between the Government and the NUIS in the fields of education, public transportation, bringing students and senior citizens closer together through voluntary community projects, and advancing cultural issue. “I have been active on behalf of students in various frameworks for seven years and there has never been a partnership like that with the Education Minister. There are also similar partnerships with other ministers.

Perhaps there are areas in which we agree less but given the major reform in higher education, the Sheshinski report, the recent welcome news in the cellular phone sector, we also know how to show gratitude and we appreciate these things very much. It is clear to us that when so many ministers are working on behalf of the students, there is a guiding hand from above and this is not a coincidence. Therefore, Mr. Prime Minister, I thank you personally.”

Education Minister and Council on Higher Education Chairman Saar informed those in attendance that the next meeting of the Council, he intends to submit for approval new benefits that have been formulated for students serving in the IDF reserves. The benefits will be in regard to eligibility to be absent from classes, postponement of courses and assignments, eligibility to take exams at later dates, extending studies, etc. Minster Saar added, “The great change in higher education is the multi-year plan that was launched in August 2010. Higher education is moving forward in impressive fashion while strengthening excellence and increasing accessibility. Today, students are more involved in the higher education system, which will continue to strengthen and move forward.”

Transportation Minister Katz noted that over the past two years, his ministry has instituted many improvements and major discounts in public transportation for the student public in order to encourage the use of public transportation.  He said, “The Transportation Ministry has even expanded the system of discounts on all bus lines and on the railways, to all academic institutions in which students learn.  It has also upgraded and improved lines to all institutions of higher learning and the various campuses.”

Culture and Sports Minister Livnat said, “The student public in Israel is an important public. It is the human future of Israel in which we must invest. It is a public active in culture and sports and it is my intention to work to enhance cooperation with students so that culture and sports in Israel are accessible and available to them. This year I initiated basic scholarship grants for students from the periphery who study at schools for the arts around the country and I intend to consider ways to expand them. The ministry also supports higher schools for the arts at a cost of NIS 20 million per annum.”

Deputy Minister for the Advancement of Youth, Women and Students Gamliel described the various actions being led by her office, including a year’s free study at academic institutions in the periphery, the construction of an additional 10,000 residential units, and expanding the student village in Lod. She said, “The fact that the Prime Minister has – for the first time – appointed a deputy minister to deal with students’ affairs speaks for itself. It provides students with a channel for direct dialogue with the Government and has led to many achievements. Investing in Israeli youth is not an expenditure but a national investment. We are working to lower tuition so that it will depend on contributing to the state and to various social projects. Thus, we will be able to help students and they will be able to help us, the population.”

Deputy Minister Nass updated those in attendance on the success of the initiative to award scholarships of up to NIS 5,000 to students who volunteer in various projects and assist Holocaust survivors, and on the success of the ‘students for senior citizens’ program, which was created in cooperation with the NUIS. This was in order to promote students as agents of change in Israeli society, strengthen senior citizens and enhance the link between young people and the older population. “Thanks to the joint activity by students and senior citizens we are creating an important bridge between the generations.”

Main points of activity by the Netanyahu Government on behalf of students

* NIS Seven billion investment in higher education in the framework of the multi-year plan to promote excellence and increase accessibility;

* Plan to establish centers for research excellence and to bring back scientists from abroad;

* Recognizing students who serve in the reserves and in social frameworks;

* A free first year of study at academic institutions in the Negev, Galilee, Judea and Samaria, Ashkelon and Jerusalem;

* The construction of 10,000 additional housing units as student dormitories;

* Gradually expanding the student village in Lod;

* Amending the students Rights Law – easements for pregnant and postpartum students, and for those undergoing fertility treatment;

* Public transportation discounts: 50% on all Israel Railways lines for those holding student fare cards and 30% for those who do not; 50% discount on buses whether by single-ticket purchase, fare cards or electronic cards;

* Upgrading and improving lines to institutions of higher learning and the various campuses, with special emphasis on students’ needs in the framework of the greater Tel Aviv area transportation reform;

* Culture and Sports Ministry support for higher schools of the arts, at a cost of NIS 20 million per annum;

* Basic scholarships for students from the periphery who learn at schools for the arts around the country; and

* Scholarships in the framework of the “students for senior citizens” plan which includes seven projects that involve students in the community in exchange for grants of up to NIS 5,000.

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