Education in Israel
Israel has a comprehensive public education system from early childhood through adulthood.
At the same time, the Ministry of Education is involved in an ongoing process of bringing educational standards in line with modern pedagogic practices such as mandating gender equality, upgrading teacher status, broadening humanistic curricula and promoting scientific and technological studies. A key aspect of its policy is to provide equal opportunities in education for all children and to increase the number of pupils passing matriculation examinations.
Educational Television (ETV), a unit of the Ministry of Education, produces and broadcasts scholastic programs for use in school classrooms and educational programs for the entire population. In addition, ETV collaborates with education professionals at universities and teachers' seminars in developing new teaching methods. Dedicated to providing "lifetime learning," ETV gears its production to people of all ages through enrichment programs for preschoolers, entertainment programs for youth, educational courses for adults and news broadcasts for all. ETV is aired on two channels, six days a week, for a total of some ten hours daily.
Education in Israel begins at a very young age in order to provide children with an augmented "head start," particularly in terms of socialization and language development.
Many two-year-olds and almost all three- and four-year-olds attend some kind of preschool framework. Most programs are sponsored by local authorities, some within day-care centers operated by women's organizations; others are privately owned. The Ministry of Education allocates special resources for preschool education in disadvantaged areas.
Kindergarten for five-year-olds is free and compulsory. The curriculum aims to teach fundamental skills, including language and numerical concepts, to foster cognitive and creative capacities and to promote social abilities. The curricula of all preschools are guided and supervised by the Ministry of Education to ensure a solid and well-rounded foundation for future learning.
Primary and Secondary Education
School attendance is mandatory from age 6 to 16 and free to age 18. Formal education starts in primary school (grades 1-6) and continues with intermediate school (grades 7-9) and secondary school (grades 10-12). About nine percent of the school population post-primary attends boarding schools.
The multi-cultural nature of Israel's society is accommodated within the framework of the education system. Accordingly, schools are divided into four groups: state schools, attended by the majority of pupils; state religious schools, which emphasize Jewish studies, tradition and observance; Arab and Druze schools, with instruction in Arabic and special focus on Arab and Druze history, religion and culture; and private schools, which operate under various religious and international auspices.
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