Israeli classrooms have 5 more kids than OECD average; teachers earn 5% less

Still, annual report finds Israel ahead of the curve on women’s education and on share of the population getting higher education

Illustrative: A large number of students sitting at a high school assembly.  (Lincoln Beddoe/ Istock Images)
Illustrative: A large number of students sitting at a high school assembly. (Lincoln Beddoe/ Istock Images)

Israel’s classrooms are far more crowded than the OECD average, and teachers are paid significantly less, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) annual review of education. Released Monday, the 38-country survey puts Israel above the average, however, in overall post-secondary education and the number of women with post-secondary education.

The report, which compared the structure, funding, and state of education across  OECD nations, found that Israeli elementary classrooms have an average of 26.4 students per class, compared to the OECD average of 21.1.

In terms of teachers’ salaries, the report found that Israeli elementary school teachers make 6 percent less than the average in OECD nations and that Israeli middle school teachers come in at 5 percent behind the international average.

However, the report noted that daycare and pre-school teachers in Israel make 3 percent more than those in other OECD nations, and the principles of schools also earned more than the OECD average.

Israeli children attend class during the first day of school, during the coronavirus pandemic, in Tel Aviv on September 1, 2020. (JACK GUEZ / AFP)

The report also found that Israeli elementary school students studied 154 hours more on average than those of other OECD nations per year, and Middle school students studied 62 hours more than the international average.

In terms of higher education, Israel is above average with the rate of people with some kind of post-secondary education at 50.2 percent, leading the OECD average of 38 percent.

Women in Israel are also better educated than women in OECD nations, coming in at 57.3 percent, leading the OECD average of 51.3 percent.

Hebrew-language media has reported that the director-general of the ministry of education, Amit Edri, said in response to the report that “Israel’s student body is leading the way, and [Israel] is one of the few nations in the world that offers state-funded education from the age of three. The ability of the education system to maintain its students proves the commitment and dedication of the principles and teachers to their pupils.”

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