The Israel team at the Informatics Olympiad.
(photo credit: COURTESY EDUCATION MINISTRY)
As all eyes were looking toward the number of medals Israeli athletes bring home from Brazil, the Israeli delegation in the Sciences won two medals in the International Olympiad in Informatics in Russia.
The delegation won a silver and bronze medal in the competition, which was held this year in Kazan, Russia, and included high school students from 81 countries.
This latest win is in addition to other Israeli delegations that won medals in the sciences in recent few weeks – six medals at the Mathematics Olympiad in Hong Kong, four medals as the Physics Olympiad in Zurich and two medals at the Chemistry Olympiad in Tbilisi, Georgia.
“The students of Israel time and again gain international achievements which bring honor and great pride to Israel in science competitions,” Education Minister Naftali Bennett said on Sunday.
“Next year, we will continue to strengthen the national program for the study of mathematics so that additional students from all the country will be exposed to the wonders of science,” he said.
According to a recent Central Bureau of Statistics report, the percentage of high school students eligible to take the matriculation exam in higher level mathematics as well as in sciences is in decline.
Bennett has placed a great deal of emphasis on reversing the downward trend in the number of students studying the maximum five units in mathematics and in other sciences.
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Earlier this year, the ministry announced its goal was to double the number of students completing the 5 unit mathematics exam in the next three years and to increase Israel’s ranking compared to other OECD countries.
Currently, Israel is ranked in the lowest bracket with only 9.1% of high school students completing high level mathematics studies, along with countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain and Britain.
The ministry has said its goal is to move Israel up to the next bracket of 16-30% completing high level mathematics studies, to be ranked alongside countries such as Australia, Estonia, Finland, France, Hong Kong and Sweden.
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