Report: Israeli Schools Short 1,800 Teachers

Israeli children riding to school. (Flash90)

The Education Ministry has a secret document that it refuses to publish, showing that Israel has a severe shortage of teachers, according to the principal of a large Tel Aviv high school. “Several high-level executives in the Ministry have received this document, which deals with the teacher shortage,” wrote Ram Cohen, principal of the Tichonet High School in Tel Aviv, in a social media post. “This is a national crisis, but they are hiding the information from the public.”

The Ministry denied the existence of the document. In a statement to Channel 12, the Ministry said that there were perhaps “spot shortages” of teachers in specific cities, but nothing that could be labeled a “crisis.” But the report quoted what it said were high-level Ministry officials who, speaking anonymously, said that the Ministry has been unable to fill some 1,800 teaching positions. “When a teaching job is advertised, a lot of people apply, but somehow they do not hire enough teachers to enable schools to run as they should,” the officials said.

A report by the State Comptroller issued two months ago said the same thing. The report said that the Ministry’s Human Resources department was not operating properly, and that reforms were needed.

In a statement, the Ministry said that “there is no national shortage of teachers, although there may be some shortages in individual communities, and the Ministry acts to fill jobs in those instances as well. Human Resources is an area the Ministry has begun to deal with intensively, especially in recent years,” it said.