Beginning the next academic year pupils will take the quadrennial elementary school assessment Meitzav exam every three years, the Education Ministry announced on Monday.

The exam, used to assess and compare the performances of schools across the country, has to date tested language, math and science skills.

According to the new plan, fifth graders will be tested in three disciplines – mother tongue language, either Hebrew or Arabic, mathematics and English. Eighth graders will be tested in four disciplines – mother tongue language, mathematics, English and science.

The Meitzav exam for second grade will be held internally.

“The new Meitzav exam constitutes another layer of the ‘National plan for significant learning,’” said Education Minister Shai Piron on Monday.

The decision was made following a yearlong break from the exam due to complaints from teachers and educators that schools felt they were being measured primarily through exams and trials which affected teaching and learning methods.

During this time a professional committee was appointed, comprised of experts from academia, education, measurement and evaluation and representatives of the ministry, to review the status and format of the exam.

“Alongside spacing learning in matriculation exams and reducing the frequency of external assessment of schools through the Meitzav exam, schools will be given more pedagogical flexibility and administrative autonomy. These form a broad envelope that will allow schools to train students to optimally meet the challenges of the 21st century,” said Piron.

As part of the ministry’s new plan school assessment coordinators will also be appointed to help with professional guidance in reviewing the Meitzav results, promotion of a proper culture of assessment within the school as well as improving academic achievements.

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