(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
The Education Ministry announced on Sunday the launch of a “safety net” for students studying five units – the highest level – of mathematics studies.
As part of the plan, a student who does not receive the minimum passing grade on the five-unit mathematics matriculation exam will automatically receive a bonus of 20 points and will be eligible to receive the four-unit matriculation certificate.
The initiative, led by Education Minister Naftali Bennett, aims to encourage students to pursue higher-level studies in the field of mathematics and primarily targets advanced students debating between pursuing four or five math units.
“I see before my eyes a student who completes school whereby on his key ring to the future there are more keys that open more doors,” Bennett said Sunday.
“Recently we are already seeing major shifts in the doubling of the number of students studying five units in mathematics – and now we are taking another important step.”
To date, students studying five units have to take two exams as part of their final grade. Should they fail the second exam they are only eligible to receive a mathematics matriculation certificate for three units – which does not allow admission into science and engineering programs in higher education.
As a result, many students refuse to “take the risk” and opt to study four units of math instead.
The reform will ensure students studying at the highest level will not be penalized for receiving a bad grade on their final exam.
“Our message is simple: We are fighting for every student – and reducing the room for deliberation between four units and five units – and it is working,” Bennett said.
He noted that this initiative is a continuation of the reform announced last week, which provides students taking the matriculation exam in five units of mathematics an extra bonus of 35 points in calculating their overall score, instead of the 25 points, which was given to date.
The initiative also seeks to increase the bonus gap between students taking a fiveunit matriculation exam and the four-unit exam, so that students taking the latter will only receive a 12.5 point bonus.