Teva Pharmaceutical Industries building in Jerusalem..
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Beit Berl College has launched a program in collaboration with the Education Ministry to retrain some 30 chemists who had worked at Teva to become teachers of advanced chemistry in high schools.
Beit Berl, one of the largest academic colleges in the country, was chosen by the Education Ministry to develop and implement the retraining program. The ministry will cover the cost of tuition loans that will convert into grants after two years of teaching in the field.
The participants, former employees of Teva’s Applied Pharmaceutical Ingredients (TAPI) and other departments who were laid off during the company’s mass downsizing, all have years of experience and advanced degrees in chemistry fields.
Classes are set to begin in March 2018 and will provide intensive training in pedagogy, methodology and skills, so that the students will be ready to teach in the upcoming academic year in September.
Dr. Tami Yaron, a Beit Berl lecturer who heads this re-training program, told The Jerusalem Post that the program aims not only to help former Teva employees use their extensive experience, but to help alleviate the severe shortage of chemistry teachers in high schools.
Currently, Israel faces a drastic shortage of chemistry teachers, particularly for advanced studies in high school (4-5 unit matriculation tracks), resulting in a lack of young people entering the sciences, she said.
In turn, industry leaders have reported a critical shortage of scientists and researchers in fields of chemistry to fill positions in R&D and production.
“Teva workers bring a wealth of knowledge and experience that can spark innovation in chemistry teaching, and open up new horizons for Israeli students throughout the country,” she said.
Beit Berl College has extensive experience in retraining professionals for a second career in education – from retired army officers through the school’s Tsevet program to hi-tech professionals who seek a meaningful career change.
“We are placing an emphasis on meaning and added value. These workers now have the opportunity to contribute to society and leave their mark on the next generation of researchers and scientists,” Yaron added. “Our aspiration is to see a flow of young people to the fields of science and research.”