Ultra-Orthodox Domination in Israel's Education System

Ultra-Orthodox Domination in Israel's Education System: Religious Schools Now Dominate, Government Funding Too; Ignoring mathematics and science, the children started lagging behind.

Dec 6, 2022 - 15:49
Ultra-Orthodox Domination in Israel's Education System

A big change is being seen in the field of education in Israel, which is making its mark in the world on the basis of science and technology. On the one hand, the number of schools imparting Bible i.e. religious education is increasing, while on the other hand, subjects like Mathematics, Science and English are being neglected. Here religious subjects are being made compulsory in primary schools and government funds are being given to them.
The reason for this change is believed to be the dominance of people of conservative thinking in the education system. Due to this, the number of trainee teachers in primary schools has also decreased by 38%. Experts say that if this situation continues, the people of Israel will lag behind in the race for knowledge and science.
Haim Sheik, head of Israel's Teachers College Forum, says- 'There are two myths about our education. First, Jews take education very seriously. While we were in exile, we needed to maintain our Jewish identity. But now it is not so. Second- Israel is now a technically very successful country and with many startups, it is making its mark around the world.
Our education is also of a high standard, but the failure of the education system surrounds us. Dalit Stober, director general of the Israeli Ministry of Education, says- 'More than 10% of our employees here are in technology-related industries. This number is the highest in the world, but our children are proving to be a failure on the global stage. Our education system is facing a serious strategic crisis.
Our children up to the age of 15 are consistently lagging in the rankings in Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) scoring. Till 2018, we were ranked 29th in the evaluation of 37 countries. Not only this, it was 32nd in maths and 33rd in science. This ranking is very worrying for us.
In the year 2020, every fifth child enrolled in primary school in the ultra-conservative system. It is natural that this ratio will increase now because their birth rate is high here. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised to fund ultra-Orthodox schools that offer religious education. Even if these schools ignore the national curriculum.
Dan Ben-David, an economist at the Shoresh Institute in Tel Aviv, said the state-run religious schools are in dire straits. The worst condition among them is that of Arabic language schools. The PISA survey does not even include traditional schools where the national curriculum is not taught at all.

Muskan Kumawat Journalist & Writer