Toward a higher education for all

The critical importance of education has always been at the top of my priorities.

April 2, 2017 21:09
2 minute read.
The campus of Tel Aviv University

The campus of Tel Aviv University. (photo credit: TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY)

‘Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself,” the American philosopher and educational reformer John Dewey once said.

Israel has stood at the forefront of advances in many fields. Indeed, our wealth – our treasure – is our human intellect.

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This is our gift. This is our future. As the “People of the Book,” we must never forget that the cornerstone of our prosperity is education, that the education of our young people is fundamental to our survival.

Yet currently, some of our young people, seeking entrance to institutions of higher education, are unable to afford the preparatory courses for the requisite psychometric examinations.

These courses, which cost between NIS 5,000 and NIS 10,000, are essential tools for the 70,000 teenagers who take the exams each year. This is why I am excited to be leading a governmental initiative to offer free psychometric courses for young people seeking to gain entrance to institutions of higher education.

Provided under the auspices of the Digital Israel project, the free online courses will give all residents of the country – irrespective of their socioeconomic level and location – an equal opportunity to go on to higher education.

The courses, offered in both Hebrew and Arabic, will both allow young people to study at their own pace and help ensure their integration into institutions of higher education, thereby providing them with a gateway into the workforce after their studies.

This revolutionary move is in line with my vision: to use our technological know-how to reduce social gaps and create equal opportunities for all sectors of society.

Money must not be a deterrent to a higher education. This is a win-win investment for the State of Israel. It is our duty. It is our obligation. It is our future.

The critical importance of education has always been at the top of my priorities. From the start of my public service as chairperson of Israel’s Student Union, I understood that the state’s investment in education was a key to a more advanced, fair and equal society.

Every young person, no matter where he or she is from, who seeks a higher education should get – must get – that possibility.

This initiative is another step toward realizing that vision.

We owe it to them and to all of our younger people. It is the promise of a better brighter future for us all.

The writer is social equality minister.

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