Education woes are a long-term threat to Israel, according to The Economist.
The latest edition of the prestigious British journal is dedicated to assessing Israel 60 years after its founding and its prospects for the future.
While the Jewish state faces significant security threats and friction between its various ethnic and religious sectors, “perhaps the most serious threat to Israel’s long-term prosperity, and the one that most troubles ordinary Israelis, is the state of the education system,” The Economist wrote.
It cited the increasingly poor showings by Israeli high schoolers in international educational indices and echoed academic experts who argue that the Olmert government has neglected to improve the quality and employment terms of teachers.
Education Minister Yuli Tamir described the report as “inaccurate.”
“They studied the Israeli reality only partially,” she told Israel Radio. “The government is in the midst of reform – the biggest educational reform ever – and this will bear fruit in the coming years.”