Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar revealed Monday that despite a significant improvement in matriculation qualifications in Israel, half of all high school students in the state will not receive a high school diploma.
According to data collected by the ministry, 51.7% of all students will not qualify for a diploma, 35.4% of these Jewish. Among non-Jews the situation is far direr, and of all haredi students, 91.9% will not receive a diploma.
Though the percentage of students qualifying for a diploma increased by 2.2% in 2010, Sa'ar said, the Education Ministry still aims to cross the 50% threshold soon.
"We must praise the fact that there has been a rise in eligibility for matriculation, but we must not forget that every other kid in Israel is not eligible and this has disastrous implications in the national sense, because their door to the future is blocked," says Professor Adir Cohen, who heads the School of Education at the College of Emek Yezreel.
He added that the school system should develop additional ways to assess students aside from matriculation exams, "which discriminate against those who are unfit for theoretical studies but excel in a wide variety of other fields" such as art and sports.
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