Muslims, Druze More Satisfied With Israeli Education Than Jews

With school year about to begin, more Israelis say they're dissatisfied with education.

11th graders in a Tel Aviv high school taking a test, February 23, 2011.
Nir Kafri

Israelis are almost equally divided over their satisfaction with the school system, according to a poll published Sunday by the Central Bureau of Statistics. Released before the start of the school year on Thursday, the poll found that 48 percent of Israelis had a negative opinion of the system, while 45 percent had a positive view.

The poll was conducted from April to December 2015 and interviewed over 7,000 people aged 20 and over, all over the country.

Thirty-six percent of those polled believed that the functioning of the school system was “not so good,” while 12 percent said “not good at all.” Only 7 percent said it functions “very well,” while 38 percent said it was “good.”

However, when separated by religion, there was a large gap: Only 41 percent of Jews have a good opinion of the school system, compared to 74 percent of Druze and 67 percent of Muslims.

In an examination of the percentage of parents who are happy with their children’s schools, the results are more positive: 44 percent of parents of kindergarten pupils are “very satisfied,” while another 41 percent are “satisfied,” compared to 13 percent who are dissatisfied.

Of parents with children in elementary school, 33 percent are “very satisfied” and another 48 percent “satisfied,” while 19 percent are dissatisfied. And among parents of high school pupils, 30 percent are “very satisfied” and 51 percent “satisfied,” with 19 percent dissatisfied.

In terms of the level of teaching, most of the parents of junior high and high school students — 76 percent — said that they were satisfied, with 23 percent dissatisfied.

Across all age groups, 38 percent of parents said their children received private remedial lessons.

In total, 85 percent of Jews and 69 percent of Arabs said they were satisfied with their children’s educational institutions. At all levels, the satisfaction of Arab parents is lower than that of Jewish parents. The biggest gap is among parents of kindergarten children, with 63 percent of Arab parents satisfied, compared to 90 percent of Jews.

The poll also indicated that 46 percent of the public believes the school system does not provide services equally, compared to 42 percent who believe it does. Of those polled, 62 percent based their opinion on personal experience, 48 percent on information from the media and 30 percent on the experience of relatives or friends.