Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Stopping computers in Lakewood schools

Does your child being proficient in computers make her at risk?

One parent of Lakewood's elementary school Bais Faiga, strongly thinks so.

Greatly disturbed his daughter is unnecessarily being taught computers in school, which will make it easier for her to use, the father got a number of other parents in the class and Reb Mattisyahu Solomon's backing, and they're demanding either stop teaching, or create another class for their daughters.

They are looking to halt all elementary schools in Lakewood from teaching computers.

Is it necessary for children to learn computers? Learning in high school seems adequate.
posted by Yeshiva Orthodoxy
at 1:06 PM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! I'm a navi! Cell phones coming up, you'll see.

And why, pray tell, does he have to try and stop *all* schools from teaching computers? Why not just work on the school his daughter attends?

It's an organized movement.

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Is it necessary for children to learn computers? Learning in high school seems adequate."

And what makes you think that's okay with this guy and his friends? Is it any less "dangerous?"

I'm beginning to think that what's really behind all this stuff is a desire to rid Lakewood of what these types consider undesirable elements - namely, anyone who doesn't identify with their extreme hashkafos. No doubt they reason that if they make life miserable enough - through "takanos" and gezeiros and messing with the schools - they'll get people to move away, or at least not to settle here in the first place.

This is not just a conspiracy theory; I know for a fact that the frummie types have been obsessing over the supposedly terrible changes in Lakewood over the last few years, and how it's no longer a purely yeshiva town. They'd like to turn back the clock; the yeshiva would like to regain its power; and with the schools headed by wimps, they may just get their way.

1:54 PM  
Blogger BrooklynWolf said...

"Is it necessary for children to learn computers? Learning in high school seems adequate."

It depends how you view the role of secular education in yeshiva.

If the role is one that should prepare children to be able to go out and earn a living, then it is not adequate to first start learning to use computers in high school. Computers are an essential part of today's workforce and will only become a more vital part as time goes on. A child who is unfamiliar with computers will be just as uncompetative in the job market as a child who does not know basic math.

If, on the other hand, you view the role of secular education as that of a necessary evil - provided only because it is mandated by the state and unnecessary because all the children in the school are going to grow up to be roshei yeshiva or homemakers (depending on the gender) then there is no reason to learn to use a computer even in high school.

My cynical 1/50 of a dollar.

The Wolf

2:49 PM  
Blogger BrooklynWolf said...

A lot of this is seriously starting to remind me of the hysteria against technology that was depicted in the book A Canticle for Leibowitz.

The Wolf

2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey give the guy credit, he is seeking consistancy across the whole school.
I can't wait until they impose a new rule. Schools can't report any closings or delays due to inclament weather on the radio. (We don't want people listening to radio for any reason, cause it might lead to other things).

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one here uses radio for school closings any more. You call in to a dedicated number.

4:09 PM  
Anonymous SephardiLady said...

I don't see any reason for elementary students (i.e. grades K-5) to use computers in school. However, one has to wonder if the movement will extend to middle school and high school leaving the students without basic vocational skills that they will need in the future, no matter their profession. Even homemakers like myself should be computer proficient, at least in Microsoft Office.

5:00 PM  
Anonymous SephardiLady said...

I also find it interesting how some people think that learning certain skills (computers, math, science, English, sports) is what will push their children "off the derech."

In fact, I am willing to bet more children are put "at risk" because their interests and their uniquness are not embraced.

5:04 PM  
Anonymous SephardiLady said...

Sorry about writing my 3rd comment, but if parents decide to form a separate class, or even a separate school, because of their demands, reasonable or not, it will contribute to the tuition crisis unless every school does the same.

5:17 PM  
Blogger turquoiseblue said...


Now, although I strongly disagree with this parent's extremist views... I also think that learning computers only in highschool is not "inadequate" in terms of preparing them for "today's workforce".

Actually - all it takes is a few weeks of tinkering on a computer -and you got all the basic skills all figured out. Then give it another few weeks - and you've got Word and/or Quickbooks figured out.

My "learning computers" in school really didn't help all that much with the skills necessary for work... besides for the fact that lots of info learned was outdated by the time I entered the workforce.

But still, I think a computer is too valuable a learning tool to give it up like that. And we're not even talking "giving up internet access", but, just basic computers...


Dunno what this world is coming to. There's no "normal" - "middle way" people anymore.

Maybe some of us here, online :)

10:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

tq: I believe you said on another blog that you're newly moved to Lakewood. Now that all this extremist stuff has come out, are you sorry?

11:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that if the schoools in lakewood are willing to stop teaching computers then they should be obligated to return any monies or grants gotten from organisations./and or government.
Lets see how quick that will happen?

12:39 AM  
Anonymous SephardiLady said...

It is really terrible that all of this is happening in the middle of the school year when people are basically forced to put up or shut up. It is really improper for the administration to be changing the rules of engagement now, as well as improper for parents to make a push to change the curiculum now.

9:18 AM  
Blogger Yeshiva Orthodoxy said...

How many grades does it take to have a grasp of compuers?
I do by the way think all yeshiva high schools, even those sans secular studies, should learn computing at least once a week.

3:44 PM  
Blogger turquoiseblue said...

I agree.

Remember, we're talking computers here, NOT "internet" :)

5:21 AM  
Blogger The other side of the story said...

this is a self destructive attitude tht haunts the lakewood (and many other chareidi communities) sadly< this attitude< that education is dangerous, is the reason more then 50 percent of the lakewood community is below the poverty line and an equal number live off of hud foodstamps wic welfare etc.
interestingly, on the recent letter signed by 27 rabbonim in lakewood castigating the use of internet, one lakewooder noted that 75%of the rabbonim who signed it lived on government programs.

true education may have dangers, but ignorance and poverty may be far more damaging. the incredible number of kids at risk in lakewood are testament to the dangers of poverty and narrowmindedness

12:29 AM  

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