Education in Israel is a prized legacy. Following the tradition of past generations and upholding their historic values, education
continues to be an essential value and is recognized as the key to a bright and prosperous future. The educational system of Israel aims to prepare children to become responsible members of a society which is democratic and independent. A society in which people of different ethnicities, religions and cultures coexist it is necessary to instill Jewish values, common love of the land and principles of national integrity and liberty through the tool of education. The system seeks to teach a high level of knowledge with a high emphasis on scientific and technological skills which are very essential for the country’s development and existence in the world beyond.
Years of struggle to make education a vital tool in the country’s development has today enabled Israel to be named the second most educated country in the world after Canada, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Education at a Glance report which was released in 2012. It was found that 78% of the money invested in education is from public funds and 45% of the Israeli population has a university or college diploma.
Preschool Education begins at a very early age in Israel. 3-4 year olds attend preschools which may be sponsored by local authorities or are privately owned. Kindergarten for 5 years old is compulsory and also free. It aims at teaching the fundamental skills e.g. language and numerical concepts to the young ones. The Curricula is supervised by the Ministry of Education to ensure a firm foundation for future learning.
Primary and Secondary Education is mandatory for all and begins from grade 1 to 12. It is necessary for the multi cultural society of Israel to be facilitated with a properly established education system. Schools are divided into four sections ; state schools which are attended by the majority, state religious schools which largely focuses on Jewish Studies, Arab and Druze schools focusing on history of the Arab and Druze and the private schools which are operated by different religious or international entities.
After that comes the higher education which may be opted over the general recruitment into Israel Defense Forces (IDF) under a program named atuda, where the tuition is paid by the army. A contract is signed with the army which extends their service. Universities in Israel require a certain amount of education and good grade in the Psychometric Entrance Test which is almost like SAT. The good thing about the education system is that even at the university level al the public universities are subsidized by the government and students are supposed to pay only a small part of tuition fee.
Foreign student’s admission:
A student who has completed secondary-school studies or one or more years of university studies outside Israel can request admission on the basis of educational documents issued outside Israel. Foreign students should have qualifications equal to the Israeli Bagrut. A student visa or a temporary resident visa is required for admission. It is also necessary that the foreign student has Good knowledge of Hebrew. Also, most reading lists require a strong passive knowledge of English. Language courses in Hebrew are available and a special one-year language preparatory course is also available.