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Israel - A Nation built around Culture, Tradition and Citizenship, Education and Innovation

May 02, 2018

Israel was declared independent from Britain on 15th May, 1948. Even though it’s considered a fairly young nation, it has a

rich historical background that influences and complements its cultural diversity, language and religion. Thanks to hard work and innovative minds they have built a system that seeks to address the more prevalent needs of its society.


Israel’s Educational System is divided into two: the Hebrew and Arab Education which are competency based with regards to the curriculum, content and skills.  They are both adapted to the culture and religion of the people.  It has a high level of autonomy and is pedagogically flexible.  Israel’s system of mandatory educational accountability ranges from (0 – 18) and up to (21) for Special Education, whereas in Belize it is (0 – 14), Myanmar and Swaziland (0 – 16) and in Kyrgyzstan (0 – 18) uniquely, children complete all grades from ages (6 – 18) at one school.  It’s interesting to note that with all its internal and external challenges, Israel’s education system boasts a 0% retention rate.  Formal, vocational and inclusive education seek to provide support and alternative methods for its varied learners.  We appreciate that there are clear and outlined strategies and outcomes, making the system more transparent.  Unlike many countries, Israel invests a large part of its budget on teacher training – a system that values and supports its teachers can hold them accountable.  


 

There is not a perfect system, though it is highly structured and reputable, there are students that face various challenges even within the system due to discrimination, social/political/marginal backgrounds, war, ethnical persecution, racism, etc.  There is an urgent need for a change in the paradigms of pedagogy, where teachers function as tutors of empathy, resilience and solidarity and seek to rebuild the figures of the community. More boundaries need to be built on technology, especially on social networks. At risk youth are encouraged to build empathy, express feelings through dialogue, teleology and need constant feedback and demonstration of success. We appreciate and can learn from this model where the Ministry of Education and municipalities assume and bear the responsibility of in school and out of school programs that combat attendance and dropout prevention, community, welfare and parenting, special institutions -technology high schools. 


We have recognized that our countries have similar programs and have sought to find the answers to many of our challenges but we lack that collaborative creativity.  Israel’s multi-dimensional approach has created a youth movement from being youth “at- risk” to youth “at-promise” - examining the past, present and future.  We would like to see this approach used by our respective ministries where we would be able to track and predict tendencies.  We would like to see our ministries invest more on prevention than intervention. Our at-risk students and communities would be more appreciative of a system that focuses on students’ capabilities rather than their limitations.  This would promote the at-promise youth approach.


In most countries, students use school uniforms as a form of unity, identity and behaviour control.  Evidently, school management and policies vary across Israel, at least in one of the schools we visited.  We were pleased to see a transparent system, a child friendly school that focusses on the well-being of each student.  The principal evidently leads by example and caters to the students’ needs.  There was evident student participation in the policies and effective management of their school.  We would have loved to see a more diversified culture of students, where minority groups were awarded to same privileges as the predominant group that presently attends the school.  However, the system is working and is a model school for us.


 

Israel has many faucets that are working properly which allows them the opportunities to explore and find solutions that still remain a myth to many other countries.  The country’s investment in educational research seems to be more than some of our entire budgets.  There’s a huge investment in finding out why students drop out even though the country boasts a significantly low percentage of at-risk youth and youth that are imprisoned or are in correctional facilities.  Unlike many of our countries, there is a comprehensive curriculum even for those that find themselves incarcerated, this is after so many interventions.



In our few days of observation, we have developed a high appreciation for Israel’s education system.  It has a replicable curriculum that can be implemented across various systems and an accountable system of governance.  There is flexibility, autonomy and a huge budget that facilitates learning and innovation at all levels.  We believe that our country should also adopt the mandatory (2-3) years military or social service by both males and females, this would alleviate many of our social challenges that we presently face by our youth and young adults.  It’s very commendable that Israel has found a way to collaborate across and within ministries (labour, immigration, finance, education, social services, etc.).  It would be interesting to see and compare the budget and its percentages for our respective countries.  There’s a lot of good things happening here, we compliment your efforts and initiatives in finding solutions and alternatives that address your at-risk population.  


 

GROUP 1:    L U N J


Dates:    April 26 – 30, 2018

Members:   
Urmatkhan Korgonbaeva, Kyrgyzstan

Nelisiwe Nick Ndwandwe, Swaziland

Jermaine Crawford, Belize
Lu Sam, Myanmar