'Even Iran got a better ranking in the math competition'

Netanyahu says education reforms focus on salaries but neglect teachers' professional quality.

Netanyahu pouts like a chimp 248.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Netanyahu pouts like a chimp 248.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Raising teachers' salaries is important, but while it would end the school teachers' strike, such a move on its own would not solve the crisis of the education system, opposition leader and Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu said Wednesday. Speaking at a conference in Sapir College, Netanyahu said that despite investments in education over several years "a constant process of deterioration" took place. "The subject of screening candidates for teaching jobs has not been discussed in any of the suggested reforms. Today, there is none, and anyone can be accepted to a teacher's position. The countries excelling in education are not necessarily those who pay their teachers the highest salaries, but those which keep an eye open on the quality of teachers entering the system," Netanyahu said. "All candidates should be screened already at the stage of applying for a teacher's diploma in universities." Netanyahu expressed concern over Israel's low ranking in mathematics compared to other countries. In a recent international competition, Israel was ranked 50th from a total of 90 participants. "Even Iran got a better ranking. If I will be in a leadership position, I will lead a plan to bring Israel back to the top ten within four years," he said.