Education Ministry reports a 76% jump in the number of Israeli Arab teachers in English, math and science at Jewish state schools – Education Ministry says encouraging data represents “an opportunity for shared life and coexistence among the two sectors.”
Israel Hayom Staff
Israeli Arab teacher show growing interest in Jewish schools [Illustrative]
The number of Israeli Arab teachers working in Jewish state schools has increased by 40% in recent years to reach 588 in the last school year, up from 420 just three years ago, the Walla news website reported Monday.
The jump is the result of an Education Ministry program to integrate Arab teachers of English, mathematics and science, among other subjects, into Jewish schools, reducing the surplus of teachers in the Arab sector and promoting coexistence.
The program, launched in 2013, is run jointly by the Education Ministry’s Teaching Personnel Department and the Merchavim Institute for the Advancement of Shared Citizenship in Israel.
According to Education Ministry figures, the school subjects with the biggest jump – 76% – in the number of Arab teachers are English, math and science. The number of Arab teachers instructing Arabic language classes at state schools also increased by 40% from 2013 to 2016.
However, despite the encouraging numbers, a poll published in Walla three months ago revealed that 21% of Jewish parents would oppose having an Arab teacher for their children.
The survey found that 30% of parents would prefer a Christian Arab over a Muslim Arab teacher, 40% said they would accept an Arab teacher from either religion, and only 1% would prefer a Muslim teacher.
Eyal Ram, the head of the Education Ministry’s Teaching Personnel Department, said the integration program seeks to provide “an opportunity for a shared life and coexistence among the two sectors, and to offer a viable solution for the surplus of teachers among the Arab sector and for the shortage of English, math and science teachers among the Jewish sector.”