Education Min. Unveils Plan to Turn Top Students Into Teachers

Education Ministry officials revealed yesterday new plans designed to attract top students to teaching.

Students applying to the new honors program will need a combined score of 625 on their psychometric university entrance examination and high school matriculation exams. They will receive full scholarships and living stipends totaling NIS 5,000 each month for three years.

In addition, teaching colleges will receive additional funds for honors students. "This method will benefit the students themselves in addition to the colleges," said Noah Greenfeld, the director of the Education Ministry's Teaching Personnel Department.

Education Minister Yuli Tamir said "colleges will be more aware of the need to enlist top students. As opposed to universities, which have lowered their psychometric demands, we want to raise the profile of education students - and to give them more aid than regular students receive."

Education Ministry officials say the recipients will be students of different subjects that will be determined by need on an annual basis. The subjects in need of honors students this year, according to the Education Ministry, are the sciences, English, mathematics, Bible and social studies.

Colleges that accept students into the program who don't meet the honors requirements will be "fined." The cost of the program is roughly NIS 11 million annually.