MK Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid), Chairperson of the Knesset Lobby for Students and Higher Education, told Arutz Sheva during an interview that Israel fell asleep on the job with respect to guiding the education of the next generation.
"We find ourselves reacting far too slowly to the changing world that is developing before our eyes. The professions which we regularly raise our children to pursue, because that is what we have available, are often no loner relevant to the generation of tomorrow's needs."
Lavie warns that many students who have a university degree will find themselves unemployed in five years. "Many professions are falling by the wayside. More than 5 million jobs in Israel will cease to exist, and yet we are still sending our students to learn the same things that we have been teaching for generations. We need to erect a governing body that will consolidate the knowledge and experience that we have gathered thus far. There should be proper career guidance for students from kindergarten until college."
According to Lavie studies in technology need to become the main area of focus. "Today, I am getting help from my children to download an app. Whoever does not have those skills will simply be left behind. My recommendation is that we place an emphasis on all of the technological studies including engineering. Whomever is not suited for those studies should pursue the various fields related to psychological help as the world is becoming a more individualized place. The fields of personal coaching, social work, spiritual guidance, and psychologists are becoming more and more important."
Lavie, who has a Ph.D in Political Science and Media, fears that even universities are becoming less and less relevant. "The whole concept of needing to have an academic degree in a certain field is eroding little by little. It is no secret that less students are signing up for academic pursuits. Many students understand that the professional world is waiting for them outside of the university.
"Our students arrive later to universities, after military service and many of them feel that a university education will not help them get a job. In the United States President (Barack) Obama opened a chain of social colleges. In Israel there is a tension growing between colleges and universities. We certainly do need research centers, but we also have to know how to focus our children's education to steer them to professions that will be relevant in the future."
Lavie pointed out that already in today's market, students of the humanities often need refresher studies in order to be ale to get a job at a decent level of pay. "In the era of the free international market, students of the humanities, for example, often need to learn extra courses in order to juxtapose their knowledge with technology. People today need to develop their technological knowledge and skills, and they need to continue to be flexible and maintain a high level of understanding of the developing world in order for them to be able to fit into the word of tomorrow."