Education Ministry: Israeli schools short of nearly 6,000 teachers

Israel’s education system is short of 5,671 teachers, with the biggest shortfall in the Tel Aviv region, according to figures from Israel’s Ministry of Education released on Sunday. The biggest shortage, according to ministry data, is in elementary schools, which are short by 2,351 teachers.

As a reminder, the State Comptroller warned three years ago of a labor shortage, but apparently nothing has been done to remedy the problem.

“We are at the height of a human resource shortage that has only worsened in recent years and seriously jeopardizes the future of Israel’s education system,” Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton said. a month and a half before. the start of the school year.

Older grades are short of 1,245 teachers, while the special education sector is short of 1,103 staff. The situation is a little better at the college, where the ministry reports a deficit of 855 educators. The kindergartens would lack 117 teachers.

The lack of English and math teachers is the most pressing concern. Elementary schools need 424 more English teachers and 251 more science teachers; colleges 247 English teachers, 196 math teachers, 214 science teachers and 198 Hebrew teachers. The high schools, meanwhile, need 200 English teachers, 156 math teachers and 131 Hebrew teachers.

Schools in the Tel Aviv area face the biggest staffing shortage: 1,847 educators. There is also a shortage of 457 teachers in the Haifa area and 305 in the Jerusalem area.

The Israel Teachers’ Union responded to the report by stating that “the Israeli education system is in a state of collapse”.

“For years we have been denouncing the intense shortage we are experiencing,” the union said, again urging the government to raise teachers’ salaries and improve their working conditions.

In early June, the union staged a series of nationwide strikes demanding a starting teacher’s salary be $3,069, while the Ministry of Finance demanded $2,514.

Teachers’ union head Yaffa Ben-David was due to meet Kobi Bar-Nathan, head of the pay and employment agreements department at the finance ministry, on Monday to discuss improving teachers’ working conditions.

“Teachers are shunning the profession because of shameful salaries and conditions,” Ben-David said on Sunday. “I call on Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman to wake up and come to their senses quickly. If a pay deal isn’t signed quickly, the school year won’t start and parents across the country will know full well who’s to blame for the delays.

The Department of Finance said the figures from the Department of Education “highlight the need for significant compensation for young teachers, with the possibility of personal contracts for subjects in demand, and of an agreement which will propel the system educational forward”.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.