Across the board, the achievements of vocational school graduates are significantly lower than those of non-vocational high school graduates. What is needed is equality. Nothing more, nothing less.
By Yossi Dahan (Translated from Hebrew by Alan Horowitz)
Before surrendering to the vision of Stef Wertheimer, Benjamin Netanyahu, Minister of Education Shay Piron and the vocational education system, which calls for transforming the educational system into an indentured servant of the labor market and the Manufacturers Association of Israel (MAI), consider first some data on the vocational education system in Israel. The latest research on the topic was conducted by Noam Zussman and Shay Tzur from the Bank of Israel in 2011 [Hebrew]. Here are their conclusions:
Moreover the results of this research point to “a large disparity in favor of academic over vocational education” in regard to education and success in the labor market. For instance, a vocational education student had a 42 percent chance of graduating with full matriculation, compared to 64 percent for an academic student. The rate of baccalaureate and higher graduate degrees stood at 12 percent for the vocational education student, compared to 27 percent for an academic student. The chance of getting a prestigious job was approximately 30 percent for a vocational education student, compared to 42 percent for an academic student. (All data refers to male students only; the rates for female students were lower, but with similar gaps.). These results apply to vocational school graduates of the 1970s; however the assumption is that the situation has not drastically changed since. For example, according to the latest data from the Adva Center, 43.8 percent of Jewish academic graduates enroll in universities, compared to 30.3 percent of vocational education graduates.
Given that the Jewish-Mizrahi student population in Israel’s geographical and sociological periphery was the main target population designated for vocational schools, there is a rational basis for the trauma and protest expressed by the three Mizrahi ministers from the south of Israel (Meir Cohen, Amir Peretz and Silvan Shalom), against expanding the vocational training education system (Hebrew). Data shows that students from countries with no vocational or other types of occupational education, such as Finland and Canada, achieve higher levels of achievement than students from countries with such tracking.
The public debate in Israel may give the impression that there are no vocational training schools here, but 39 percent of secondary school students...Read More