In order to maintain a smart, efficient global economy with a competitive edge and raise the standard of living of all the state’s inhabitants, Israel must maintain its status as a highly educated society. With few natural resources except the talent and intellect of its citizens, Israel must continue to focus its energy and money on education.
Currently, education in Israel from pre-school to university suffers from inadequate funding, public respect and government commitment to excellence. Great sums are diverted from the education budget to the Religious Ministry and funneled into yeshivot and other baredi institutions. The Masorti Tali schools receive little funding from government sources.
In the schools themselves, children are not being adequately challenged and are often immersed in learning environments where bullying, disrespect for teachers and children, and violence prevails. There are tremendous gaps on the basis of socio-economic background, national background, time in country, and locally. These gaps are evident in academic achievement, drop-out rates and matriculation examinations. Israeli children have consistently scored below other industrialized nations in reading, math and science.
Therefore, Women’s League for Conservative Judaism urges the Israeli government to institute and/or continue to:
- Promote educational excellence for all children from pre-school through age 18 regardless of location, ethnicity, economic status, or length of residence in Israel for those born elsewhere.
- Continue to implement the Dovrat Report equitably throughout the country with special emphasis on class size, and the five day/longer hour schedule.
- Make respect and discipline a priority among students and teachers to create a safer and more appropriate learning environment.
- Include citizenship education in all schools (including religious and Arab) and at all levels to create a more responsible and pluralistic electorate.