Minister of Education Naftali Bennet has plans to continue improving the standard of the nation’s public schools. Last year, he began placing an emphasis on students opting for the more difficult 5-point mathematics program and this year, he is focusing on improving English-speaking skills.
Having been financially successful in the high-tech world, Bennet explains a working knowledge of English is an absolute must for students to enter the high-tech world in the future.
Bennet speaks of the need of every student to be able to conduct a conversation in English, nothing less. Bennet is fluent in English. His parents immigrated from the USA many years ago. Nevertheless, he feels every graduate must be able to handle spoken English without difficulty. He places the burden not on students alone, announcing teachers must improve their skills as well.
Bennet is not relying on miracles, having recruited some 1,000 professional English teachers from both Israel and the Diaspora. At least half of them have higher degrees. The Education Ministry has also hired 950 teaching assistants, all of whom are fluent English speakers.
Bennet adds 99% of the world’s reading materials are in English and today, English is simply a necessity for anyone who one day wishes to enter the workplace to earn a living.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)