Recent international comparisons have shown that only 4 percent of Israeli high
school pupils excel in mathematics and 5% in the sciences, compared to rates of
their counterparts in east Asia, where they are 20% to 30%.
Tirosh, chairwoman of the Knesset Science and Technology Committee, said in a session on
Monday that pupils of science and technology should be exposed also to
“alternative frameworks that are more pleasant than those in the formal school
Committee members were presented with research by Dr. Ofer
Rimon, head of the Education Ministry’s science and technology administration,
and Dr. Dimitri Romanov, the chief scientist of the Central Bureau of
The findings dealt with the scientific and technological
potential of Israeli pupils and the long-term significance of this
Tirosh, a former Education Ministry director-general, noted
that in some countries, boys and girls are intentionally separated in high
school science classes – which raises the girls’ level of studies and results in
sciences being a more popular choices for them.
Two years ago, the
ministry launched a new process aimed at strengthening science and technology
studies among pupils. Without preparing a cadre of young people in science and
technology, it warned, “there is a real danger that Israel will find itself in
the future at a lower level than Iran or China.”
The earlier such
subjects are studied, the better the children progress, the two researchers
said. In haredi schools that teach these subjects, they said, girls are better
than the boys in scientific and technological studies.
that extracurricular programs in science and technology – even in universities –
should be considered to trigger pupils’ interest, and that the sexes should be
separated in these classes to promote the advancement of girls.