Article - Education
As of today, Israel can point to a considerable number of achievements in the field of education. Public schools are available to the entire population, and education is free and compulsory. The government supports the various institutions of higher learning and facilities for adult education. In addition, provision is made for special education, schools for working youth, and complementary education, as well as proper nutrition. The curricula available are varied, and there is constant activity in pedagogical research and in the improvement of methods of instruction and education. Teacher training facilities are available, as well as in-service courses, and the teachers and educators are both capable and devoted. Educational needs in Israel are numerous and growing, and the facilities now available are still insufficient, though quite extensive and continually expanding. Special problems are posed by disadvantaged pupils, delinquent and deviant youth, and the illiterate. Moreover, Israel educators have a task peculiar to Israel - educating new immigrants, teaching them Hebrew, and help become integrated in the country.
The network of kindergartens for pre-school children has been expanded in new immigrant settlement and development areas, and the admission age lowered.
Special expansion projects have been undertaken in numerous educational institutions. For a considerable number of classes, a longer school day has been provided, and in some cases a longer school year as well. Class size has been reduced. Uncertified teachers have been given the opportunity to attend training courses leading to speedy certification. New teaching methods and textbooks have been introduced for crucial subjects. School buildings are being constructed in outlying areas at an increasingly rapid rate.
Vocational training has been expanded and diversified. New teaching methods and textbooks have been developed for a number of subjects. A blueprint has been drawn up for the organization, unification, and expansion of post-primary education. Pupils from low-income families have been exempted from payment of fees, and free post-primary education is provided for children from settlements with the status of development towns or immigrant villages. Improvements have been introduced in secondary and special education. Gifted pupils are helped to attain secondary and higher education, and various loan and scholarship programs have been broadened.
Primary school teacher training institutions have been revamped and their capacity enlarged. The number of courses available for in-service training of both primary and secondary school teachers has been increased, while higher education has been expanded and diversified. Facilities for adult education have been increased in the areas of general education, culture, and art.
All in all, standards in education have risen and the level improved for all sectors of the population and all parts of the country. For Israeli educators this has been a tremendous challenge, shared by the public at large.
The stamps symbolize the following stages of education:
Elementary school, the tab reading: "The beginning of wisdom is this: get wisdom... " (Proverbs 4:7);
Secondary school, the tab reading: "Train upon a child in the way he should go... " (Proverbs 22:6);
Vocational training, the tab reading: "...but all study of the law without labor comes to naught at the last... " (Pirkei Aboth 2);
Academic training, the tab reading: "...but you shall meditate on it day and night... " (Joshua 1:8).