School children 521.
(photo credit: Illustrative photo: Marc Israel Sellem)
Classrooms in Israel are overcrowded compared to the rest of OECD countries,
according to its 2013 Education at a Glance report, released on
The report, which showcases data for the years 2010-2011, showed
that while the average number of students in an elementary school in the OECD
countries is 21.2, there are close to 28 pupils per classroom in
According to the figures, the salary of primary school teachers
in Israel is 29 percent less than their OECD counterparts.
Mexico and Turkey are the three OECD countries with enrollment rates – for 15 to
19 year olds – below 65%, almost 20 percentage points below the OECD average of
84%,” the study revealed.
In terms of Israel’s annual expenditure per
student by educational institutions for all services – from primary to tertiary
education, including research and development activities – it was about $6,500
in 2010, about one-third less than the OECD average of $9,313.
represents the eighth-lowest expenditure per student of OECD countries,
according to the report.
Nonetheless, the report stressed that “Israel’s
population is well educated” and ranks second among OECD countries for the
percentage of 25- to 64-year-olds who have achieved tertiary education: 46%
compared with an OECD average of 32%.
“The share of 25 to 64 year olds
with at least an upper secondary education is 83%, well above the OECD average
of 75%, while at the same time, the proportion of those with only an elementary
education is well below the OECD average, 17% compared with 25% across OECD
countries,” the report added.
The data also showed that 29.7% of the
general population in Israel are students, compared to the average of 22% in the
rest of the OECD countries.
In addition, teachers are younger in Israel:
53% of teachers in the country are aged 39 and below compared to 41% in the OECD
Quoting other OECD data, Renana Leviani, from the Jerusalem
Institute for Market Research, told The Jerusalem Post
that the population in
Israel is younger than in the rest of the OECD countries.
percentage of young people means that the number of students in Israel is
particularly high,” she pointed out.
“Studies about the effectiveness of
a low number of students in the classroom are divided,” she added.
studies show that a low number of students per class helps especially failing
students. However, it does not necessarily lead to better results or achievement
for most students.”
Concerning teachers’ salary, Leviani, who has
recently published a report on the issue, stressed that “[because] teachers’
salaries are relatively low and their number of teaching hours [are] not
particularly high, it is clear that this will be reflected in the number of
students in the class, which will be extremely high.”
Shelly Yachimovich said the report revealed a “grim reality” which is “a direct
result of the policy of severe cuts through the Netanyahu decade.”
added that Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s new budget only worsens the
The Education Ministry has yet to comment on the data.