Jerusalem's State Schools Make Comeback

After fifteen years of steady decline in enrollment, Jerusalem's state-run secular and religious schools have reversed the trend.

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Gabe Kahn,

Modern Jerusalem
Modern Jerusalem
Flash 90

Fifteen years of continuous decline in the number of students in state secular and religious schools in Jerusalem have come to an end.

State-run elementary education in secular schools rose to 11,133 students in 2012, compared to 11,024 students in 2011.

State-run religious schools (mamlakhti dati) also saw an increase in enrollment, with 11,003 students in 2012, compared to 10,872 students in 2011.

After years in which matriculation in state-run secular schools saw a 12% decline in Israel's capital, the percentage of children being matriculated in the national education system rose 4% to 64.03% from 59.42%.

State religious schools saw a similar rise of 4% for this academic year to 68.09% from 64.27% last year.

The increased enrollment came after the city initiated education reforms and introduced new new programs.

The percentage of Jerusalem high school students eligible for diplomas and university matriculation has also risen, with 87% of graduates from state-run secular schools and 85% of graduates from state-run religious schools being eligble.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said "The city's residents feel the changes and new trends in the city. Enrollment in state schools increased after 15 years, and we saw an increase in university matriculation."

"Tourism is at record-breaking levels, and cultural events and international sports have attracted thousands of visitors from Israel and abroad," he added.

"The vision for our city in the past two years has attracted investors to Jerusalem. It has proven we are a capital of culture and attracted young people because we are more connected to the world," Barkat said.

"We will continue to invest in education, culture, livelihood, and building our city in order to make Jerusalem the leading the city in Israel, as befits the capital," Birkat said.