Education Ministry to restore humanities matriculation tests

Kish directed the ministry's professional teams to formulate a new alternative to the format of testing in the humanities.

 High school students take their mathematics matriculation examination (Bagrut), in at a high school in Rishon Lezion, on May 20, 2019. (photo credit: FLASH90)
High school students take their mathematics matriculation examination (Bagrut), in at a high school in Rishon Lezion, on May 20, 2019.
(photo credit: FLASH90)

The Education Ministry will restore humanities matriculation (bagrut) exams that were removed under a reform by former education minister Yifat Shasha-Biton, new Education Minister Yoav Kish announced on Thursday.

In line with the decision, 10th-grade students this year will begin studying and being tested in a format similar to 11th-grade students this year, including at least one external test in a humanities subject and other internal tests on humanities subjects.

The online tasks and tests that students did in 10th grade under the reform will serve as part of the grade for the internal testing. The students will also continue to study and be tested in bagrut tests in their mother tongue, English, mathematics and extracurriculars.

Kish directed the ministry's professional teams to formulate a new alternative to the format of testing in the humanities. The new format will be presented by the end of March.

"The humanities subjects, Bible and history are a significant part of shaping the student's personal and national character, we will restore them to the status and the place they deserve," said Kish. "The new decision will first and foremost make it possible to restore stability and continuity to the schools and these subjects. During these days, the professionals in the ministry will begin discussions to formulate a new alternative which will come out with all the relevant parties and be presented to the public in an orderly manner."

 Education Minister Yoav Kish announces cancellation of matriculation reform. (credit: EDUCATION MINISTRY) Education Minister Yoav Kish announces cancellation of matriculation reform. (credit: EDUCATION MINISTRY)

Former education minister expresses outrage at cancellation of reform

Shasha-Biton expressed outrage at the decision, stating "the government of 'we came to destroy!' Kish only learned a week ago that he is the education minister and today he is already demolishing, smashing, destroying."

She added that "the public does not interest them, only which of them will be the outstanding D9. The education system is on a path that will take it out of the crisis it has been in in recent years thanks to professional reforms that we have carried out as part of the reform for the renewal of learning that strengthened the humanities professions. Now Kish wants to run over the education system and sell the future of our children just to be against, to do rather, to be the opposite."

The National Leadership of Parents welcomed Kish's decision, stating that it would join the committee that will examine changes to the education system. "The most important thing is that we don't go back, to the historical and irrelevant outline of 11 matriculations and are facing forward."