The level of education in the Arab sector has consistently been lower than that among Jewish students – but a report in Yisrael Hayom said that that could be attributed to the fact that nearly a third of teachers in the Arab sector were educated at universities outside of Israel, mostly in the Palestinian Authority and Jordan, where standards were far lower than in Israel.
The number of non-Israeli-trained teachers has risen consistently over the past decade. In 2009, 12% of teachers were trained at non-Israeli universities and colleges. By 2014 that figure was 20%, and in 2019 it was over 30%. According to the report, there are some 5,000 Israeli Arabs studying at universities and colleges in Jordan, the PA and other places in 2017, although the Education Ministry refused to confirm that number, Yisrael Hayom said.
The increase in non-Israeli-educated teachers correlates to a slide in performance and results for Israeli Arab students, the report said. Teachers educated at non-Israeli universities and colleges showed consistently poorer results on licensing tests than Israeli-educated teachers, the report said.
In a statement, the Education Ministry said in response to the report that “all teachers in the Israeli school system are university educated, and their degrees are evaluated according to objective criteria. They must fulfill requirements in order to get hired, including tests in Hebrew and the subjects they are teaching.”