May 31, 2023

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New Education Minister Scraps Matriculation Reforms of Predecessor

2 min read

On Thursday, Yoav Kirsch, the new Education Minister, confirmed that the matriculation reforms that had been introduced by his predecessor would be cancelled.

These reforms had been introduced by Yifat Shasha-Biton under which new methods of evaluation, work and study had replaced some school testing.

The reforms

Under the planned reforms that Shasha-Biton had unveiled in April of 2021, the written exams of some subjects had been eliminated, including those of Bible studies, civics, literature and history.

Instead, these subjects were to be graded internally by every school on the basis of multidisciplinary work and class projects, along with an external assessment.

According to Kisch, they had collected feedback from teachers, industry officials and principals, about the difficulties associated with the new format and had decided to cancel the said reforms.

He added that a new matriculation plan would be developed by his ministry and they would present it to the public in March, 2023.

The High School Teachers Union had opposed the reforms when Shasha-Biton had introduced them and it had argued that certain subjects would be degraded and students would be left ‘ignorant’.

The conflict

A Likud MK, Kisch said that history, Bible and humanities are an essential part of shaping the national and personal history of a student and they were just returning them to the correct place.

He added that the decision would ensure that schools as well as the subjects are able to benefit from the continuity and stability.

As expected, Shasha-Biton did not have a positive reaction to the news. She posted on Thursday that the new government was just interested in destroying.

She said that Kisch had only come to know a couple of weeks ago that he would be the education minister and he had already begun destroying things.

She went on to say that they were not interested in benefitting the public, but were just focused on destroying.

She was referring to the widespread reforms that the newly installed government of Benjamin Netanyahu intend to introduce in order to undo the ones of the previous government.

The criticism

Shasha-Biton continued with her criticism and said that Kisch wanted to sell the future of the kids and was willing to destroy the education system just to oppose the previous government.

The cancelation of the reforms introduced by Shasha-Biton is not really surprising, after Kisch had already spoken to her on Sunday at the ministerial handover and asserted that they do not follow the same path.

He had also said that there would be changes in the direction of the Education Ministry and added that the subjects that had been affected by the reforms of the outgoing minister would be ‘returned’ to the curriculum.

The matriculation exams play a significant role in the future of a student. Scores are taken into account in applications to academic institutions and military units.

Students have to pass the exams with at least 56% or higher in each area of study in order to get a matriculation certification.

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