The Arab village of Fureidis, which only three years ago ranked poorly in its students' matriculation eligibility rates, more than doubled the figures last year, coming third in the country, after such well-to-do Jewish communities as Kochav Yair and Shoham.
Three years ago only 34% of high school graduates in Fureidis were eligible for a matriculation certificate. But in the previous school year 76% of students were eligible for a diploma.
The results are particularly striking in light of the fact Arab communities usually rank very poorly in matriculation eligibility (an average of 31.94% for the sector in 2008). Last year's results put the village third in the country, ahead of Ramat Hasharon, Hod Hasharon and Raanana.
However, the principal at Fureidis' high school Housni Abu Dahesh said he was not surprised by the results, as the efforts to improve eligibility rates in the village have started several years ago.
"Some of the students received courses to increase their motivation and improve their learning skills and at the same time the teachers were given free hand to decide about their teaching methods, when the rule was that the teacher is responsible for his student's accomplishments," explained Abu Dahesh.
The principal attributed the change mostly to the additional teaching hours his school received from the Education Ministry and the local council.
He said he believed that the results will continue to be good in the coming years. "It's not such a big secret. All it takes is planning and thinking ahead, setting goals, getting the staff involved and consolidating resources."
Yaheli Moran Zelikovich contributed to the report