Israel’s education system includes primary, lower-secondary, secondary, and higher education. The achievements of high school students have a significant impact on their ability to be accepted into higher education institutions. Therefore, many students take tutoring and assistance classes to pass their exams successfully. Besides, according to estimates, total consumer spending on education in Israel will increase in the next four years to over 8.15 billion U.S. dollars in 2026. Despite this, the educational system is facing budgetary difficulties, and there are public protests to improve the employment conditions of the teaching staff in the country. In August 2022, the Israeli teachers' federation reached an initial new agreement with the Ministry of Finance, which is aimed to improve the conditions of employment of teachers.
High eligibility for a matriculation
In 2021, the share of students entitled to matriculation stood at 81.4 percent. This was a slight increase compared to the previous year. Although it is a relatively high eligibility percentage, there are some differences between the enrollment percentages in Israel’s districts. In the same year, the matriculation rate in the Central District reached 91.1 percent, while in Jerusalem District, it stood at a significantly lower percentage, at 65 percent. These differences are partly due to dissimilarity in the district’s education budget and socio-economic gaps between various areas in Israel.
The importance of higher education
Higher education remains of high importance to enter the Israeli labor market. In the academic year of 2020/21, the number of first-degree studentsin higher education institutions in the country amounted to over 211.6 thousand. In that year, engineering, architecture, and social sciences accounted for the most popular fields of study among first-degree students in Israeli universities. In addition, many choose to teach in higher education institutions as a primary or secondary profession. In the academic year of 2019/20, the average monthly salary of lecturers at universities reached almost 11.29 thousand Israeli shekels ((roughly 3.3 thousand U.S dollars).
Financial difficulties in the education system
Along with the improvement in student achievement in the education system, the system faces significant budgetary difficulties. In 2020, the annual expenditure per student on educational institutions in Israel stood just above the average in the OECD countries. In addition, in recent years, there has been a public call to improve the employment conditions of teachers and teaching assistants. In July 2022, the average monthly salary in the education sector in Israel amounted to 9.7 thousand Israeli shekels (about 2.8 thousand U.S. dollars).
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