Some 40 percent of Haifa's elementary school mathematics teachers have not undergone professionalization, according to the Education Department's district officials. And the local parents organization says this lack is lowering achievement levels and hampering future career prospects for many of the city's schoolchildren, reports Yediot Haifa. According to the report, parents at a recent education convention were dismayed when the head of the Education Department's district branch, Aharon Zabida, informed them of the large percentage of underqualified elementary school math teachers. Parents' representatives said that the fact that many teachers have no proper understanding of the subject was damaging their children's future career options, and that this situation could not be allowed to continue. "Mathematics is the basis for every profession, including medicine, physics, chemistry, and more, and this basis is in a slump," a parents' spokesman said. "We do not agree with this approach, and it is up to the education system to change it, especially in the Arab sector, where the picture is even worse." The parents said they were pleased to hear that the Education Department was moving to professionalize mathematics teachers, and urged it to do so as quickly as possible.