Here fishy fishy fishy! It may have worked for Ernie, but I think humans have more sense than to take the bait just because it’s dangling in front of them.
Ok, maybe I’m giving too much credit to the species, but certainly the subcategory of “parents” are more discerning when it comes to decisions about their kids.
The analogy is even more appropriate than i originally thought, because according to this article my the Jerusalem Post, the decision to make preschool free is actually just bait on a deadly hook.
The author implies that putting our young children into public school programs could cause them irrevocable harm that they will later grow up to pay for, quite literally, in taxes.
While the information about preschool education might be verifiable, her implications as to the result of this decision seem very far-fetched.
Here’s the recap: The Israeli gov’t decided to offer free education through the public school system starting from age three. Until now, only the last year of pre-school was free. The underlying motive for the decision is to allow parents to enter the workforce without having to factor in the cost of preschool.
Today, parents of young children have many options for early education, ranging from Savta, home-run mishpachtons to more formal private schools.
Yes, and why would free public school change that?
Just because something is free doesn’t mean that I will choose it. For example, one of the reasons we looked forward to Aliyah was because here in Israel there are public schools that are religious and we could conceivably give our children a quality Jewish education for free. Facts on the ground are that we chose to send our 7 year old to a private school and to pay for his education, despite the availability of a very good religious public school right here in Katzrin. We chose this because a Montessori-style school opened up in the Golan and we felt very strongly that a more experiential learning environment was going to be essential for Netanel Shlomo and that the formal learning environment would be detrimental to him. Next year, when we make this decision for our daughter, we might choose the local school. But as decent parents, we are making the decision based on all the factors – first and foremost being the needs of our child.
The implication in the article, to my reading, is that parents will throw their children into preschool, whether they think it’s a good idea or not, because it’s free.
I think this is an interesting piece of writing on the issue of what age is ideal for a child to start school (if at all, in the case of those who choose to homeschool), but I don’t think it’s related to the new law. Parents who were going to send their kids to public gan anyway are thrilled to be able to cross that expense of their list. Parents who wished they could send their kid to public gan so they could work, but couldn’t afford it, are thrilled because they can now increase their income. And parents who don’t think that preschool is a good choice for their child, or who prefer private preschools, or who wouldn’t be going out to work anyway are completely unaffected by this development.
Attention Israelis! You don’t have to complain about everything the government does! Some decisions they make are actually decent! Save your anger for the things that count, like the fact that a 5-day long strike was tolerated and the union leaders weren’t thrown in jail like they should have been! Now that’s something to complain about. Deciding to alleviate some expenses from hard-working citizens… not so much.