On December 7, 2003 Ha'Aretz reported, "Arab high school students will no longer be required to study Bible as a required subject for matriculation exams (bagrut), according to new educational guidelines for earning matriculation certificates that are now in preparation. Non-Jewish students - including Druze, Bedouin, Circassians and Muslims, who had previously studied Bible as part of their Hebrew studies - will now study the texts of their own religious traditions instead. 'In the same way a Jewish child does not have to study the New Testament, neither should an Arab child have to study Bible. Let them study their own traditions,' said Prof. Yaakov Katz, chairman of the ministry's pedagogic secretariat. Non-Jewish students will continue to learn Bible in their history lessons, Katz said, but 'they did not have to study Bible texts.'"