Education Ministry unveils plan to combat cheating on matriculation exams

Cities such as Even Yehuda, Kochav Yair, Givatayim, and Givat Shmuel all recorded above 85% eligibility among students for matriculation certificates for 12th graders.

By
October 20, 2014 19:21
2 minute read.
Students

Students. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

The Education Ministry released data on Monday outlining the matriculation achievements of high school graduates for the 2012/13 school year.

The ministry categorized the achievements based on a scale or low, medium and high and rated student achievements in municipalities throughout the country.

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Cities such as Even Yehuda, Kochav Yair, Givatayim, and Givat Shmuel all recorded above 85% eligibility among students for matriculation certificates for 12th graders. 

Tel Aviv recorded 76.04% eligibility placing it in the "high" category, while Jerusalem recorded 44.16% eligibility placing it in the "poor" category.

The ministry stressed that despite the categorization, the school year was characterized by a general rise in eligibility rates for the matriculation certificates among all students, whether in low, medium, or high categories.

On Sunday the Education Ministry released details of a new pilot plan for maintaining the integrity of the matriculation exams.

According to the new program, which will gradually be implemented beginning with the winter 2014/15 matriculation exams, the ministry will divide high schools in Israel into three categories based on the percentage of disqualified booklets from previous exams.

The first category, "green schools" will include all schools where the number of disqualified booklets was less than one percent. In this category, the ministry will provide "trust" in the schools and allow them the autonomy to appoint teachers from the school's faculty to oversee the matriculation exams.

The second category, "yellow schools" will include all schools where the number of disqualified booklets was between 1.1% and 3%.Matriculation exams in these schools will be conducted electronically or with the supervision and responsibility of external staff appointed by the Education Ministry.

The third category, "red schools," will include schools in which the number of disqualified booklets exceeds three percent. Students in these schools will be required to take the matriculation exam at external testing centers. 

Teachers will be allowed to accompany the students to the testing centers but will not be allowed to enter the classrooms during testing time. 

“We are taking an important additional step in further strengthening the national program of 'Meaningful Learning',” said Michal Cohen, director general of the Education Ministry. “We will not allow for the abuse of trust and we will take care with the utmost severity cases of damage to the integrity of the examinations,” she added.

Last month, some two hundred matriculation exams in mathematics were disqualified by the Education Ministry following suspicion that one of the questions on the exam was leaked to the students.

According to initial reports, the suspicion arose that one student received a copy of the exam questionnaire and leaked an incorrect answer to some 200 students at the Makif High School in Kfar Kassam, all of whom had identical mistakes in their exam booklets.


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