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Israeli Education Policy: How to Move Ahead in Reform

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  • Philip Hemmings

    (OECD)

Abstract

Israel’s education system is complicated by multiple streams at the primary and secondary levels and by military conscription. Population growth and economic expansion have brought a massive increase in demand for all levels of education. Educational attainment statistics are impressive, but results show high-school students have poor basic skills. Reform efforts to tackle this are underway, including increased teachers’ pay in combination with more contact hours and increasing the length of compulsory education. As in other socio-economic spheres, there are significant gaps between Arab-Israelis and the rest of the population. Also, the Ultra-orthodox community’s independent education system presents specific concerns and challenges. In tertiary education, progress has been hindered by the collapse of a reform package that envisaged increased state funding combined with increased student tuition fees, expansion of government-backed student loans and a range of other structural reforms. This Working Paper relates to the 2010 OECD Economic Survey of Israel (www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/israel) La politique d'éducation Israélienne : comment progresser dans la réforme Le système éducatif israélien est très complexe en raison des multiples filières d’enseignement primaire et secondaire et du service militaire. La croissance démographique et l’expansion économique ont entraîné une augmentation massive de la demande d’éducation à tous les niveaux. Les statistiques relatives au niveau d’études sont impressionnantes, toutefois les résultats montrent que les compétences de base des étudiants du secondaire sont d’un niveau médiocre. Des réformes ont été engagées pour y remédier, il s’agit notamment d’améliorer la rémunération des enseignants tout en ajoutant des heures supplémentaires d’enseignement direct et en allongeant la durée de la scolarité obligatoire. Comme dans d’autres domaines socio-économiques, on constate de fortes disparités entre les Arabes israéliens et le reste de la population. D’autre part, le système éducatif indépendant de la communauté ultra-orthodoxe se caractérise par des difficultés et des défis spécifiques. Dans l’enseignement supérieur, les progrès ont été freinés par l’échec d’un ensemble de réformes qui prévoyaient d’augmenter les financements publics tout en relevant les frais de scolarité et en lançant une série de changements structurels. Ce document de travail se rapporte à l’Étude économique de l’OCDE de l’Israel (www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/israel).

Suggested Citation

  • Philip Hemmings, 2010. "Israeli Education Policy: How to Move Ahead in Reform," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 781, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:781-en
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5kmd3khjfjf0-en
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    Keywords

    Arab; Arabes; colleges; collèges; education; enseignement primaire; enseignement secondaire; enseignement tertiaire; Haredi; Haredi; Israel; Israël; PISA; PISA; policy; Politique; primary school; réformes; secondary education; tertiary education; Ultra-orthodox; ultra-orthodoxes; university; université; éducation;

    JEL classification:

    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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