NIS 9 Billion Assigned to Bring About a Reduction in Education Gaps for Arab Based Israelis

In recent news, the Ministry for Social Equality and Ministry of Education in the State of Israel have revealed that they are planning on taking initiatives to reduce the educations gaps experienced by Arab Israelis. The joint plan will be disclosed later and is going to include initiatives related to an increase in the number of classrooms, an increase in school matriculation rates, and a fall in school dropout rates, amongst other things. 

Meirav Cohen, the Minister for Social Equality, and Dr. Yifat Shasha-Biton, the Minister of Education, took to publishing the primary factors that are included in the joint project. They form a part of a comprehensive plan, which will be implemented over the course of five years. The sole purpose of this project, according to the ministers, is to ensure that there is an increased degree of equality amongst the people residing in Arab Israeli society. 

Later in the month, the plan will be submitted to receive approval. The agreements allow the new comprehensive program to make positive changes to Hebrew literacy, promote education after school hours, create educational content that is more relevant, and bring about a decline in dropout rates. The proposal also assigns a total of NIS 2.4 billion to help construct classrooms in regions where Arabs reside. This will ensure the construction of more than 3,500 kindergartens and classrooms. Furthermore, an additional investment of NIS 7,000 will be made per each Arab student. 

Additional initiatives that are a part of this five-year plan include ensuring improvements in the quality of teachers. This will be done by expanding training programs and raising hiring standards. The education strategy further entailed that it wanted to reduce the educational gap that exists between Arab and Jewish students in university matriculation. By working towards a considerable rise in Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) test scores, this number should improve by at least 50%, especially among students who speak Arabic. 

Minister Cohen took to talking about the five-year plan, saying that in order to bridge the gap that exists in society, the country must first start with education. He went on to add how the program formulated includes an investment of a total of NIS 9.4 billion. It is no secret that a significant gap prevails between the Arab and Jewish societies, with respect to investment in education. A report in the year 2019, published by the Association for the Advancement of Civil Equality, stated that textbooks, as well as other educational materials, do not consist of any mention of Arab locales. In addition, they do not carry any culturally Arab images.

The report pointed out that a Jewish student could easily graduate high school without ever meeting an Arab student and vice versa. According to it, this gap has created distorted perceptions on both sides and had a negative impact on the capacity of children to deal with stereotypes of other groups. 

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