Education Minister Yoav Kisch (Likud) on Sunday unveiled a plan to help revitalize the education system in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A combination of COVID and a severe teacher shortage has put the school system in crisis, and bureaucratic barriers have been hampering attempts to fix the issues.
Kisch said his plan would help the geographic and social periphery. It includes an after-school study system to help struggling students, especially with languages.
How does Yoav Kisch hope to fix Israel’s education system?
Kisch said he wants to add days to summer school and address the ongoing issue of a lack of teachers by recruiting soldiers, both during and after their service, to teach.
This follows several confrontations between governments and the Teachers Union, which has often threatened to strike due to poor conditions and low pay.
Fixing Israel’s teaching shortage by using IDF soldiers
The idea of using unlicensed individuals as teachers rather than unionized teachers is not unprecedented.
Several schools employ young people in National Service (Sherut Leumi), which is an alternative option to IDF service.
However, National Service workers contend with poor conditions, low pay and are often highly undervalued.A survey in 2021 found that a majority of Israelis think National Service workers are no less patriotic and essential than soldiers.