Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar (Likud) will ask to stay on as head of the ministry after the next general election, the minister said on Tuesday.

Speaking at the annual Yotzrim Atid (“Creating the Future”) education conference in Tel Aviv, Sa’ar said he decided to do so after realizing that education is the most important issue facing the country.

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He promised that if Israel invests enough resources, within several years it can have an education system among the best in the Western world.

Sa’ar said his current term as education minister “has signified a strategic change in education. This has been a term during which the State of Israel has invested a great deal in education and placed education at the top of the public agenda, not only in words but in deeds.”

There remain “many other strategic issues in the education system that demand reform. I have a clear picture in my head in regards to what needs to be done and what goals must and can be reached,” he said.

During his speech, Sa’ar turned to Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud), who was also present at the conference, and asked him to heed his call for greater investment in education in the 2013 state budget.