An initiative of the Ministry of Education and the Consumer Council: the "Fairness in Consumerism" program. As part of the new program, students will deal with moral dilemmas in the society and in commercial life and will develop criticality towards injustice in social life and in consumers' issues.
The program "Education to Fairness" is designed to improve the image of the Israeli society in the most common field of our everyday life - the sphere of consumption - and to turn us to more decent human beings who do not exploit others' weaknesses or distress. In addition, students will experience various critical tools to deal with injustices and unfairness in consumerism and will be aware to organizations and bodies to which claims and complaints may be addressed.
Among the objectives of the program: to foster the value of fairness among the students, the community and the country; to strengthen the value of fairness in commercial and consumers' life; and to encourage students to act through criticality against acts of unfairness and injustice in the field of consumerism.
Students will learn to take action against lack of fairness in the society and in commercial life, such as writing letters to authorities, preparing position papers, managing a balanced household budget, developing a critical approach towards commercial advertising and more. The program will be operating in the coming school year, 2015-2016, in various age groups (elementary and secondary) and will be integrated into core subjects like language, mathematics, homeland, society and civism, and more.
The Minister of Education, Naphtali Bennett: "Social justice begins with education, and reducing the financial burden of the parents begins with the children. When children learn from a young age about wise consumerism, when they are being "fooled" and how to manage a balanced household budget - they will grow to be fairer and more critical consumers".
Israel Consumer Council CEO, Lawyer Mr. Ehud Peleg: "The Consumer Council has exposed tens of thousands of cases of unfairness each year in commercial life, in a way that has brought us to the conclusion that a cultural change in the Israeli society is necessary. Tomorrow's businesspeople are today learning in the education system, and this is the opportunity to train them to understand that fairness should be the guiding light upon which they should behave. An individual who does not exert fairness in commercial life will not start to behave differently in the field of interpersonal relationships, since the norm according to which he behaves considers the profit he will make as the essence of everything, at the expense of the values of honesty, consideration and compassion. Therefore, the importance of the program extends far beyond commercial life and the Israeli society as a whole would benefit from this program".
The major issues of the program:
- In the framework of the program and through use of technology, the students are invited to take part in a national consumers cooperation, which will highlight the value of transparency within the field of "fairness in consumerism"; they will raise suggestions and solutions that will help increase the range of businesses and services available to them, in order to increase competition, improve quality and lower prices.
- Fairness in consumerism in the context of the center and the periphery – comparison between the prices in the center and in the periphery.
- Fairness in consumerism comes to expression through provision of a quality service at a fair price to all consumers without discrimination and without taking advantage of consumers' weaknesses or distress (such as the background or residence on other contexts).
- Familiarity with concepts of 'consumerism' and 'fairness in consumerism' and with the functions of the Consumer Council, with an emphasis on 'Consumer Protection Act'.
- Identification of businesses that act with honesty towards consumers, as compared to other businesses who act in lack of fairness.
- Encouraging the students to prefer purchasing in fair and worthwhile businesses as part of their purchasing considerations.
- Learning those issues in an experimental manner – such as comics, games, preparation and publication of information on fairness on the school's bulletin board.
- Consumers protest - initiated action consumers take in order to protest against unfairness among business owners.