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Education in Israel


The world exists only thanks to the breath of a child. (Talmud of Babylonia: Shabat, 119b) 

The education in Israel is a beautiful legacy. Following the tradition of the previous generations, the education keeps on being a fundamental value and it is considered to be the key of his future. The educational system tries to prepare the children so that they transform into members responsible for a democratic society pluralista in which there coexist persons of different ethnic, religious, cultural and political backgrounds. It is based on the Jewish values, the love to the country and the beginning of freedom and tolerance. He thinks about how to give a high knowledge level, putting emphasis on the scientific and technological, essential aptitudes for the continuous development of the country.


When the State of Israel (1948) was established, already the whole educational system existed in functioning developed and supported in the prestate period by the Jewish community, in which the Hebrew, which had been re-lived for the daily use at the end of the XIXth century, was the education language.

Nevertheless, from some time after of the establishment of the state, the educational system must have faced the enormous challenge of integrating children's big quantities, of more than 70 countries - some that came with his parents, alone others - fulfilling this way the meaning of life of Israel as historical homeland of the Jewish people. The masses immigration in the 50s, principally of the Europe of postwar period and of the Arab countries, was continued in the 0s by a big influence of Jews of Noráfrica. In the 70s, there came the first massive immigration of Soviet Jews, continued intermitentemente for smaller groups. From the beginning of the 90s, more than one million Jews of the ex-Soviet Union has established his hearth in Israel, and tens of thousands keep on coming annually more. In two massive movements, in 1984 and 1991, practically the whole Jewish community of Ethiopia was brought to the country. With running of the years, many Jews of the Americas and of other countries of Occident have settled also in Israel. 

In addition to answering to the urgent requirements of a major number of classrooms and of more teachers, there should have developed instruments and special methods that they were helping to the absorption of young people of very different cultural backgrounds in the school population. The programs delineated specially so that they were giving answer to the needs of the newly arrived persons were including the preparation of a help curricular appropriate and classes of brief periods that were introducing the immigrant pupils in the matters who were not studied in his fatherlands, like being the Hebrew language and the history of the Jewish people. Special courses began to qualify the teachers to be treated with the immigrant young people, and the achievement of courses of retraining for immigrant teachers as facilitating his incorporation in the education system.

Simultaneously, the Department of Education takes part in a constant process for the adaptation of the educational norms in use to the modern teaching practices, like the equality between the sexes, the elevation of the status of the teachers, the enlargement of the programs of humanistic studies and stimulus to the scientific and technological studies. A key aspect of this politics is the granting of equal opportunity to all the children and increase of the pupils' quantity that approve the baccalaureate examinations.

The Educational television, a unit of the Department of Education, produces and transmits school programs for his use in the schools, and educational programs for the whole population. Also, the Educational television collaborates with the education professionals in the universities and teachers' seminars to develop new instructional programs. Destined to provide "learning of for life", the Educational television directs his productions to persons of all the ages by means of enrichment programs for children in preschool age, programs of entertainment for young people, educational courses for adults and transmissions of news for all. The Educational television transmits in two channels, six days per week, with a whole of almost ten daily hours.

Preschool education

The education in Israel begins at a very early age, in order to provide to the children a better starting point, especially in terms of socialization and language development.

Many two-year-old age children, and practically all from 3 to 4 years they are present at some type of preschool frame. Most of the programs are sponsored by the local authorities; some of them work inside nurseries supported by women's organizations; others, they are private. The Department of Education assigns in disadvantageous areas special resources for the preschool education.

The infantile garden for 5-year-old age children is compulsive and free. The studies program aspires to teach the basic workmanship, including numerical concepts and of language that the cognitive and creative capacities reinforce and stimulate the social skills. The programs of study of all the preschool frames are guided and supervised by the Department of Education, for the purpose of assuring a solid foundation for future learning. 

Primary and secondary education
The school system 

The assistance to the school is compulsive from the 6 up to 16 years of age and free up to the 18. The formal education begins in the primary school (10 to 0 grade), continues with the average cycle (70 to 90 grade) and in the secondary school (100 to 120 grade). About 9 per cent of the school population primary post studies in boarding schools.

The multicultural nature of the society of Israel has his expression in the frame of the educational system. Consistently, the schools are divided in four groups: state schools, at which most of the pupils are present; religious state schools, which put emphasis in the Jewish studies, the tradition and the religious observance; Arab schools and drusas, in that the education is in Arab and puts special emphasis on the history, religion and Arab culture and drusa; and private schools, which work under diverse religious and international auspices.

On last years, due to the increasing worry of the parents with regard to the educational orientation of his children, there have been founded some new schools, which reflect the philosophies and world conceptions of specific groups of parents and educators.

Studies program 

Most of the hours of the day of study devotes itself to obligatory academic matters. Although the topic of the matter must be covered in uniform form in the whole system, every school can choose of between a wide scale of units of study and material of educations provided by the Department of Education, which better is adapted to his needs and to those of his school population. With the target to reinforce on the part of the pupils the comprehension of the society in which they live, every year studies in depth a topic of national importance. These matters have included the values of the democracy, the Hebrew language, the immigration, Jerusalem, the peace and the industry.

The Department of Education is responsible for the program of studies, the educational standards, the supervision of the teaching personnel and the construction of the buildings of the schools. The local authorities have to his charge the maintenance of the schools, as well as the acquisition of the teams and necessary materials. The members of the teaching personnel in the infantile gardens and in the primary school are officials of the Department of Education, while those of the top grades are hired by the local authorities, which receive funds of the department in accordance with the volume of his school population. The government and the municipal authorities finance 80 % of the education, while the rest of the funds comes from other sources.

Extremely gifted children, who are counted between 3 % of the pupils of the highest level in his classes, and have approved the required examinations, they take part in programs of enrichment that go from special schools on time I complete up to extracurricular courses. A class of extremely gifted is characterized by the level of his pupils and that of his studies, with the emphasis put not only in giving knowledge and comprehension, but also in the application of the concepts that apply in other disciplines. The children who take part in these programs learn to experience and to handle new materials in independent form.

Children with mental or physical incapability, or with problems of learning, are located in frames adapted in accordance with the nature of his impediment, to help them to achieve possibly a maximum integration to the social and vocational life of his community. Like that, some of them are attended in special establishments, while others are present at regular schools in those that special groups form or integrate to the classes with supplementary tutorship. The responsibility for the well-being of these children is shared by personnel of medical attention, psychologists, social and professional workers in special education, as well as by the family and by diverse community groups of support. A commission constituted by law and named by the Department of Education, determines the right of the invalid children to receive programs and facility of special education, free from 3 to 21 years.

Secondary education 

Most of the secondary schools offer a program of academic study in sciences and humanities education directed to the securing of the baccalaureate and the step to the higher education.

Some of the secondary schools offer specializing programs of study directed to the securing of the baccalaureate or the vocational diploma. Technical staff and practical engineers train the technological schools in three levels; some, which prepare themselves to continue top studies, others, who study to receive a vocational diploma, and others, who acquire practical training. The agricultural schools, in general of residential character, add to the basic studies matters related to the agronomy. The preparatory military schools, in two different programs, there qualify future military men of career and technical staff in specific areas that are needed by the Forces of Defense of Israel; both programs are of residential character; the first one is opened only for males and the second one, is coeducational. The secondary yeshivot, mostly interned, with frames separated for males and girls, complement the secular studies program with intensive religious studies and promote the observance of the tradition and of a Jewish way of life. 

The schools comprehensivas offer studies in a series of vocations, from audit up to mechanics, electronics, hotel trade, graphic design and more.

Higher education

The higher education plays a cardinal role in the economic and social development of the country. Almost a quarter of century before the creation of the State, opened (1924) the Tejnión - Technological institute of Israel to itself in Haifa, for the training of the engineers and architects and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem there was founded (1925) as a center of higher education for young people in the Earth of Israel and to attract students and Jewish scientists of the foreigner. When Israel obtained the independence (1948), the whole of students in both universities was reaching to close to 1.00. In the school year 2000/1 about 216.000 students were present at the higher education institutions in the country. Of them, 54 per cent are inscribed in universities, 16 per cent in academies, and 30 per cent take part in courses of the Open university.

With full academic and administrative freedom, the institutions of higher education of Israel are opened to all those that expire with his academic standards. New immigrants and students who lack the necessary qualifications can be present at a special preparatory program, which once concluded successfully it allows to the students to postulate for his admission. 

The higher education institutions work under the authority of the Council of Higher education, which is headed by the Education Secretary, and there includes academic, community representatives and a representative of the students. It grants credentials, authorizes the granting of university qualifications, and advises the government in the development and top educational finance and the scientific investigation.

The Commission of Planning and Scholarships of the Advice, formed by four important academicians of different areas and two public figures of the managerial or industrial sector, is the intermediary entity between the government and the institutions of higher education in everything what refers to financial matters, presentation of proposals of budget to both entities and allocation of the approved budget. Public Funds provide 70 per cent of the budget of higher education, 20 per cent derive from the tariffs and the rest of diverse private sources. The Commission also promotes the cooperation between the diverse institutions.


Most of the Israeli students have more than 21 years of age on having initiated his studies, after three years of obligatory military service for the males, and almost two years for the women. Until beginning of the 0s the students were present at the higher education institutions principally to acquire knowledge, today they are faced towards the acquisition of a career, registering the students in the wide scale of professional studies that are offered. In the present, more than half of the Israelis in the age group 20 - 24 are inscribed in some of the institutions of post-secondary or top education.

Students universarios of the first year 
for area of study (2000/2001) 

The Tejnión - Technological institute of Israel (est. in 1924, Haifa); in him there has graduated the majority of the engineers, architects and urbanistas of the country. In the last decades, there him have joined faculties of medicine and life sciences. The Tejnión serves like center of investigation basic and applied in sciences and engineering to promote the industrial development of the country.

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (est. in 1925) is provided with faculties that cover practically all the study areas, from the art history up to zoology and it serves as head office of the National library of Israel. From his foundation, the scientists of the Hebrew University have taken part actively in every phase of the national development of Israel and his department of Judaic studies is considered between the most finished of the world.

The Scientific Institute Weizmann (est. in 1934, Rejovot), founded originally like the Institute Sieff, was extended in 1949 receiving the name of Dr. Jaim Weizmann, the first president of Israel and a renowned chemist. Nowadays, it is a post-postgraduates' recognized research center in the fields of the physicist, chemist, mathematics and life sciences. His investigators take part in projects destined to accelerate the development of the industry and the establishment of new scientific companies. The institute includes a department for the science education, which prepares studies programs for his use in the secondary schools.

The University Bar Ilán (est. in 1955, Ramat Gan) constitutes a singular approach integrativo that combines enrichment programs in Jewish legacy with a liberal education in a wide scale of disciplines, particularly in social sciences. Combining the tradition with the modern technology, it is a head office of institutes of investigation in physicist, medical chemist, mathematics, economy, strategic studies, psychology of development, musicology, Bible, Talmud, Jewish law, etc.

The University of Tel Aviv (est. in 1956) was founded with the incorporation of three existing institutions to answer this way to the need for the existence of a university in the field of Tel Aviv, the area most filled with the country. Nowadays it is the biggest university of Israel, it offers a wide disciplines bogey and places a considerable emphasis on the both basic and applied investigation. The university is a head office of specializing institutes that devote themselves to strategic studies, system administration of health, technological prognosis and studies of energy.

The University of Haifa est. in 1963), it serves like center of higher education for the north area of the country, offers the possibility of interdisciplinary studies; his interdepartmental centers, institutes and his general architectural planning are structured to answer to this approach. The university includes a unit for the study of the kibbutz like social and economic entity, as well as a center dedicated to the promotion of the comprehension and cooperation between Jewish and Arab in Israel.

The University Ben-Gurión del Néguev ((est. in 1967) was established to serve to the inhabitants of the south area and to stimulate the social and scientific development of the desert region of the country. It has done important contributions in the arid zones investigation, and his medicine school has been the first promoter of the community medicine in the country. The campus of the university along with the kibbutz Sdé Boker lodges a center for the study of the historical and political aspects of the life and epoch of David Ben-Gurión, the first Prime minister of Israel.


Regional academies offer academic courses under the patronage of the universities, allowing to the pupils to study to obtain a title close to his hearth, and to finish them in the principal campus of the university. 

Some specializing institutes provide studies in art, music, dance, fashions, infirmary, therapies of rehabilitation, education and sports. Private academies that grant diploma offer courses in matters of big demand like business administration, right, computing, economy, and related topics. Additional programs exist for the securing of certificates or diplomas in a variety of topics that go from technology and agriculture up to marketing and hotel trade.

The Open university (est. in 1974), based on the British model, offers not conventional higher education opportunities to obtain the B.A title., using flexible methods that are based principally on texts and guides for the personal study, complemented by structured tasks and periodic tutorships, with a final examination. 

Education for adults

A wide scale of courses sponsored by the Department of Education, as well as for public and private institutions, answers to the individual needs, from learning of the Hebrew language and the progress of the basic educational skills, up to the promotion of the familiar well-being and the publication of the general culture. The Department of Labour provides training and vocational retraining for adults in many areas in the big cities and in many villages. 

The education of the Hebrew language in different levels, using the method of ulpán especially developed for such an end, helps the immigrants or other groups of population to integrate to the Israeli life. The compensatory education, designed to reduce the educational and cultural disparities between the adults in Israel, is adapted to the world of the adult students. Courses of vocational training, both day and night, they are dictated in centers produced jointly by the Department of Labour and industrial enterprises, as well as in institutions of technological and professional training. The "popular universities" to everything long of the country offer to hundreds of adults classes and workshops on academic topics and in the arts. Special radial transmissions for immigrants include a program of "university in the air".

Source: MFA - Foreign Office of Israel

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