Only 57,878 out of 120,315 senior high school students in Israel are eligible to receive their matriculation certificate (te'udat Bagrut) for the last school year.
Data on matriculation eligibility for 2011 published by The Education Ministry on Wednesday indicate no change in the number of eligible students, with one in two students entitled to receive a graduation diploma.
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Since Gideon Sa'ar took the helm at the Education Ministry, a slight increase in matriculation eligibility has been recorded among Jewish students, though no significant change was noted in the haredi sector.
"We will continue to strive for better achievements," said Sa'ar during a press conference on Thursday, adding that "there is a record high percentage in the number of Jewish students eligible for matriculation."
Sa'ar did not address the less-than-promising figures indicating that only 8.8% of haredi students earn their graduation certificate – a number similar to that recorded in 2008.
The Education Ministry continues to funnel billions of shekels to the haredi education system, even though most haredi institutions do not teach the core subjects such as English and math.
A study conducted by the Knesset Research and Information Center indicates that as many as 25% of haredi elementary school students do not study English, and some 40% only study three hours of math per week. By comparison, students in the state education system study four hours of English and six hours of math between the fourth and sixth grade.
Among Israeli-Arab students, some 39% were eligible for matriculation in 2011 – a figure similar to 2010, but slightly higher than previous years. The Druze sector recorded a 47% matriculation eligibility rate, while only 29.7% of Bedouin students in the Negev were entitled for a graduation certificate.
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