STREET SCENE in Rahat, a Bedouin city in the southern Negev..
(photo credit: VICTOR CABRERA)
A new program to help reduce gaps in math studies between the Bedouin sector and the general population was announced Tuesday by the Ministry of Education, Rahat municipality and Social Finance Israel.
The project, the first-ever Social Impact Bond (SIB) of its kind, will focus on promoting math studies as a way to decrease social inequality. The program was formed, according to a joint release by the three supporters, as a result of government decision 2397 - promoting social economic development in the Negev Bedouin communities.
A SIB is a social-financial tool based on the principle of pay-for-success. Social investors finance programs aiming to provide an effective solution to social issues, the programs’ results are measured and only if the social results were achieved, as determined in advance, the social investors will see a return of their investment.
In this project, success of the SIB model means a significant increase in the number of students matriculating in math 4 and 5 units in Rahat. The success of this SIB will be proof and a catalyst to replicate the model in order to promote academic achievements in the periphery.
Today, the rated of students matriculating in 4 and 5 math units in Rahat is less than half of those in the general population.
The program will be made available to 10th graders for three years over three study cohorts, beginning with a summer camp during the summer vacation after 9th grade.
The long-term goal of the project is to bridge the gap between Rahat and communities in central and other more affluent areas of Israel. A study conducted by the Taub Institute in 2015 found a strong link between math achievements and future success in the work market, specifically that those matriculating in 5 math units have an average higher income.
“Math studies per se are not the goal, but a tool for a stronger economic and academic future,” said Minister of Education Naftali Bennett. “No one will convince me that in Rahat or Mashad there is less intelligence than in Ramat Hasharon. It is our responsibility to offer a fair chance to every student, everywhere in every sector.”
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