After realizing the nation’s student body was not exhibiting satisfactory progress in mathematics, the decision was made to ensure the teachers were up to par, insisting math teachers review the subject matter they teach, with each required to take a final exam to exhibit proficiency in math. In an alarming reality, over 30% of the teachers failed the final exam, but not to worry, they are not unemployed; rather they are still teaching the subject they themselves failed. Another 2,000 teachers who decided not to be certified as math teachers are also still teaching. They never took the exam. Last year, about 20% failed their exams, but they too continue teaching in the nation’s schools.
According to Prof. David Chen of the School of Education in the Ohr Yehuda Academic Center, the number of teachers failing and being permitted to teach is alarming and unacceptable, explaining a first grader who is taught math by a teacher who is not qualified will suffer as a result. He added that the failure rate demands reevaluating the process by which teachers are certified.
He explains the teachers are caught in a quandary since many were never qualified to teach a specialized subject to begin with. One teacher explains that she never excelled in math and never enjoyed the subject, but when she arrived at the school the principal assigned her to teach math, ‘like it or not’.
Education Ministry officials are avoiding comment, explaining the testing process of teachers is still ongoing so comment at this time would be inappropriate. Regarding teachers who fail, the ministry explains, those very same teachers continue taking continuing education courses during their careers.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)