Education Min. Unveils Plan to Attract Top Students to Teaching Programs

Students in the new honors program will receive full scholarship, living stipends.

Education Ministry officials revealed on Sunday new plans designed to attract top students to the teaching profession.

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 that the "colleges will be more aware of the need to enlist top students. As opposed to the 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 that the recipients will be students of different subjects that will be determined on an annual need 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 stands at roughly NIS 11 million annually.