PM on Israeli education system: 'We're in trouble'

PM on Israeli education

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday spoke about the worsening state of the Israeli educational system, emphasizing the need for a core curriculum for haredi and Arab students. "We are in trouble," Netanyahu said at an economic conference in Tel Aviv. He called into doubt the ability of Israeli students to compete in the modern global economy, and the Israeli educational system's failure to adequately teach a core curriculum to both haredi and Arab students. "We need to focus on core subjects that allow the general Israeli population to assimilate into the work force... and they need basic knowledge in math, computer science, and languages." Netanyahu cited recent IDF entrance examination scores as an indicator of a declining Israeli educational system. "The only difference is that today people understand that there is a problem, a problem that is not at the top, but at the very base of the system," the prime minister said. He went on to say that the way to reverse this downward trend was to, first of all, "appoint qualified people. Second, we give them support." Netanyahu did express hope that an increase in the budget for education would result in improvement. He went on to cite that such factors as improving the status of the Israeli school teacher, as well as an improved administrative capability would also help the situation.