The numbers of students eligible to receive bagrut – the Israeli high school matriculation certificate – has increased by 3.5 percent in the past five years, Education Ministry data from the 2011- 2012 school year demonstrated on Wednesday.

The overall 3.5% increase in those eligible to receive bagrut over the past five years indicated a jump from 46.3% eligible in the 2006-2007 school year to 49.8% eligible in the 2011- 2012 school year, the ministry said.

During the 2011-2012 school year specifically, there was a 1.7% increase in the rate of bagrut eligibility for the entire Israeli high school senior age group – a group that includes students who learn outside the framework of the ministry or are otherwise unaccounted for.

While only 48.1% of children in this age bracket were eligible to receive their bagrut certification in the 2010-2011 school year, 49.8% of them were eligible during the 2011-2012 school year, equivalent to an additional 2,384 children.

These figures account for all sectors, including the ultra- Orthodox and east Jerusalem populations, the ministry said.

Of the students specifically studying for the bagrut exam, there was a 2.6% rise in the number of students eligible to matriculate, from 59.8% in 2010-2011 to 62.4% in 2011- 2012.

Within the non-ultra-Orthodox Jewish sector, the number of children entitled to matriculate within the entire age group increased for 2011-2012 by 1.6% – equivalent to an addition of 1,495 students, the ministry said. This means that from the 2010-2011 school year to the 2011-2012 school year, the percentage of nonultra- Orthodox Jews eligible for bagrut rose from 65% to 66.6%.

Among those actively studying for bagrut in the non-ultra- Orthodox Jewish population, eligibility levels for the matriculation certification rose by 2.8% – from 68.4% to 71.2% in the two years.

Including the ultra-Orthodox sector within the Jewish bagrut eligibility figures, the percent increase in bagrut eligibility was only 0.8% for the age range – a rise from 54.5% to 55.3% for the two school years.

Among those Jewish students actively studying for bagrut, however, there was a 2.3% increase in matriculation success: 62.9% for the 2010-2011 school year and 65.2% for the 2011-2012 school year.

On its own, the ultra-Orthodox sector saw a drop of 0.6% in bagrut eligibility, or a decrease in eligibility from 8.8% to 8.2% from the 2010- 2011 to the 2011-2012 school years. Of the ultra-Orthodox students actively studying for bagrut, the success rate decreased by 0.5%, from 17.4% in 2010-2011 to 16.9% in 2011-2012, the ministry said.

New immigrants saw a 2.1% increase in their bagrut eligibility, with rates rising from 53.7% to 55.8% for the two years, the ministry said.

In the non-Jewish sector – which includes Druse, Negev Beduin and Arabs except for those in east Jerusalem – the rate of bagrut entitlement increased by 4.2%, or 976 students, for the entire age group, from 38.2% to 42.4% for the two years. Of those actively studying for bagrut in the non- Jewish sector, the rate of eligibility increased by 2.2%, from 50.2% to 52.4%, the ministry said.

Among all those in the relevant age group, the Arab sector saw an increase of 5% in bagrut eligibility, the Druse sector saw a rise of 7.8% and the Negev Beduin saw a drop of 0.6% from the 2010-2011 to the 2011-2012 school years.

Of those children actively studying for bagrut, the Arab sector saw a 2.1% increase, the Druse sector saw a rise of 9% and the Negev Beduin saw a decrease of 1.1% in those matriculating, the ministry said.

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