Teachers’ union threatens to strike against baccalaureate reform

On Monday, secondary teachers threatened to go on strike against the reform of secondary school graduations announced by Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton.

“No minister has done more damage to the education system than Shasha-Biton,” Ran Erez, chairman of the secondary teachers’ union, said at a press conference announcing the dispute with the ministry, threatening to close schools well before it was announced. end of the school year.

“We will act quickly,” he said. “We are considering not issuing grades to students at the end of the year. There may also be disruptions during graduation ceremonies, travel and the like. If necessary, we will extend our promotion by two months,” he added.

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As part of the reform Shasha-Biton announced last month, certain tests will give way to new methods of studying, working and judging. As such, the written tests of history, literature, civic education and Bible studies are canceled and replaced with class projects and multidisciplinary work marked internally by each institution, in addition to an external evaluation.

In each of these subjects, teachers will select projects from which Second and First students can choose. The exams for the secondary school leaving certificate – de chatter – are reworked and students prepare individual projects and oral presentations.

Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton in Jerusalem on June 14, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

The projects of Terminale students will have to be assessed by an external examiner, whereby a global final mark is composed of the school mark and that of the external evaluation, in equal parts.

The external evaluation will be based on a written work and an oral presentation of the project.

Mathematics, English, Language and Science exams will continue as before, with written tests subject to external assessment.

Erez said Monday the reform would hurt students and result in a “sedation.”

“We need to deepen our knowledge. We are not fighting the reform for budgetary reasons, but because it harms students and reduces certain topics to the bare minimum,” he explains.

These exams can have important consequences for the future of the students. The grades obtained are examined with great care in the case of applications to elite military units or academic institutions. The final diploma is awarded to students who pass the exams with a minimum pass rate of 56% for each subject.

Students of Yehud Comprehensive High School will take their exams at Yehud on July 8, 2020. (Yossi Zeliger/Flash90)

the reform of chatter is the latest in a series of sweeping changes led by Shasha-Biton since his appointment as Education Minister in June 2021.

The National Council of Students and Youth criticized the union’s statements, accusing Erez of harming students.

“Ran Erez again believes that his strike threats at the height of the enrollment period and graduations will undermine the Ministry of Education and the reforms it promotes. But in fact it is the students that he harms with his arbitrary attitude,” said council chairman Omer Shahar.

Monday’s announcement by the teachers’ union reflects a new spat between the ministry and the Israeli teachers’ union over a new wage deal with the state.

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