The Education Ministry has released new figures showing that 6.5 percent of Tel Aviv's 12th-grade students will finish the year with outstanding results, reports the Hebrew weekly Yediot Tel Aviv. But the results vary widely between different sectors, with religious schools producing nearly double the number of outstanding students as secular schools, and with Arab schools producing hardly any outstanding students. According to the report, the Education Ministry classifies results as "outstanding" if a student completes his or her matriculation with 30 units of study and a 90 percent average or higher, or with 25 units of study and an average of 95% or higher. The figures show, however, that the 6.5% of outstanding students are not spread evenly between the different population groups. Only at five of the city's 14 secular high schools did 6% or more of the students receive outstanding results, while at four of the city's six religious schools 7% or more of the students received outstanding results. The report said the top results went to the religious Ulpanei Bnei Akiva school, where nine of the 49 students - 18.5% - received outstanding results, although more kudos was given to the secular Shevach Mofet school because of its larger numbers. There, 35 of the 231 12th-grade students - 15% of the total - received outstanding results. The figures also pointed to a paucity of outstanding results at the Arab schools, mostly based in Jaffa. Several had no students in the outstanding category, and in others there were only one or two outstanding students out of almost 150. A University of Tel Aviv academic said the current education system was failing in its task of closing social gaps and was merely widening the barriers between the Jewish and Arab sectors. He also said the focus on the percentages of outstanding results pointed to a failure of the education system to meet the real needs of students. "To my regret, it is sometimes forgotten that more should be invested for a child who comes from a lower economic situation (than for a child from a wealthier background)," he said. No comment was reported from the Education Ministry or from the Municipal Education Department.