O S E A S * E U R O P E


The Education System

The education system in Israeli schools is divided into three sections according to age groups.

A. Primary school (Grades 1-6) B. Intermediate school (Junior high school Grades 7-9) C. High school (Grades 10-12)

When pupils reach the end of their high school studies, they take external matriculation examinations set by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports. Pupils who pass the examinations and fulfill all the Ministry's requirements, receive a matriculati on certificate.

The Matriculation Certificate

In Israel, the matriculation certificate is awarded to every high-school graduate who successfully fulfills all the educational and legal requirements of the Ministry of Education. The certificate is awarded by the examination board, which is responsible for holding the external state examinations, and by the pupil's school.

The Certificate Reflects

The matriculation certificate contains the name of the high school from which the pupil graduated, and the following details: On the right side of the certificate appears a list of the external state examinations taken by the pupil and set by the Ministry of Education. On the left side of the certificate, there is a list of subjects that the pupil studied and was tested on within the framework of his school. The level of the examination and the grade obtained by the pupil are both indicated next to each s ubject on the certificate.

Learning Levels

The learning levels in the education system are defined by learning units. These units indicate the level at which the subject was studied, the difficulty of the examination, as well as the number of hours allocated to the subject. The number of learning units for the various subjects ranges from one to five. In general, the number of classroom hours constituting one learning unit is approximately 90. Thus, at least 450 classroom hours are devoted to subjects studied at a level of five learning units.

The Israeli matriculation certificate is the key to higher education.

The Grade Obtained in a Subject

The final grade obtained in a subject is a combination of the pupil's average grade in his school examinations (upon which his yearly grade is based) and the grade obtained in The external state examination.

The Subjects

The subjects studied in high school are grouped as follows:

Compulsory Core Subjects This group of subjects constitute the nucleus of compulsory studies; it is mandatory for pupils to be tested on these subjects.

Compulsory Elective Subjects

This is a group of 40 subjects divided into two clusters: 20 academic subjects and 20 technological subjects. Every pupil has to study a least on subject from this group and be tested on it.

Additional Elective Subjects

This is a group of over 100 specialized subjects recognized by the Ministry of Education. External matriculations are held in these subjects. Pupils choose subjects that interest them from this list of standard subjects, and are permitted to take their ex am in any area of their choice. Note; All the subjects in the three groups mentioned above are recognized by Israeli universities for acceptance to higher learning. The grades average of each pupil is calculated on the basis of these subjects.

School Subjects

These subjects are unique to each high school. Pupils are tested in internal school examinations on these subjects, and their school is responsible for assessing their achievements, under the supervision of the Ministry of Education. These subjects are li sted on the left side of the matriculation certificate.

Compulsory Core Subjects and the Minimal Requirements for Receiving a Matriculation Certificate:

Hebrews 2 learning units *Bible studies 2 learning units Literature 2 learning units History 1 learning units Civics 3 learning units Mathematics 3 learning units English 3 learning units

* Bible studies (2 learning units) refer to regular schools; it is compulsory to take Bible studies at a higher learning level in religious schools. In Christian, Arab or Druse schools, the students are tested on the following compulsory subjects instead of Bible: the Christian religion, the Islamic religion, or the Druse heritage. Note: Pupils may choose to specialize in any compulsory core subject and be tested on it at the highest level.

Compulsory Elective Subjects

Generally, these are the subjects pupils choose to specialize in and study in greater detail, with a view to a future educational direction or professional specialization.

The Cluster of Academic Subjects

Additional Foreign Language (French, Arabic) Agriculture Art Biology Chemistry Computer Sciences Economics Geography History of the Land of Israel Jewish Thought

Life and Agricultural Sciences Music Philosophy Physics Political Science Social Sciences Sociology Talmud The Oral Law Theater

44% of the recipients of matriculation certificates continue their studies in a university for a Bachelor's degree.

The Cluster of Technological Subjects

Accounting Agricultural Mechanization Applied Optics Architecture Civil Engineering Design Developmental Psychology Electrical Systems Electronics and Computers Machine Control Management and Economics Marine Navigation Marketing and Sales Promotion Mech anical Engineering Microbiology Practical Art System Analysis Technical Thermodynamics Technological Chemistry Tourism Welfare Studies

Principles of Studies and Examinations in Israeli High Schools

1. Every pupil may choose the learning level of any subject he wishes to study according to his ability.

2. In every compulsory elective subject, there are three levels of examination: a high (advanced) level of five learning units, a regular (medium) level of three learning units, and a basic level of one learning unit.

3. All the examination levels are structured in a modular fashion; thus it is possible to progress from a lower examination level to a higher one, so that a pupil can improve his level.

4. The name of the main subject, the number of learning units accumulated by the student, and the final grade, all appear on the matriculation certificate.

5. In the 10th grade, all pupils at all levels of learning study the compulsory core subjects and the basic scientific and technological subjects. In the 11th grade, the pupils choose study trends and specialize in the humanities, sciences or technology.< br>
6. A pupil who chooses a study trend in the field of technology, actually chooses three groups of subjects: two subjects from the basic scientific and technological fields and one in-depth specialization subject.

7. At the end of his studies, every high school graduate receives a certificate testi fying his achievements, according to the level of examinations taken. Pupils who are tested in at least 20 learning units of compulsory core subjects and elective subjec ts, according to the combination stipulated in the national criteria defined in a special Director General's Bulletin (1989), are awarded a "Matriculation Certificate". Pupils, whose combination of subjects does not render them eligible for a matricula tion certificate, are awarded a school final certificate. The minimal prerequisite for a final certificate is passing any examination at the basic level of one learning unit.

This document has been prepared by the United States - Israel Educational Foundation, based on an official publication by The Israeli Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport - the Pedagogical Administration - National Examining Board.
Tel - Aviv , January 1996
Evelyn Levinson Director, Educational Information Service, U.S.-Israel Educational Foundation (USIEF) Tel Aviv, Israel, Telephone: 972-3-5172131, Fax: 972-3-5162016, E-mail: elevinson@fulbright.org.il

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