Nobel Prize winner: Haredi education - worse than in Iran

According to Professor Dan Shechtman, subpar haredi education system threatens Israel's future.

Tzvi Lev,

Haredi schoolchildren
Haredi schoolchildren

An Israeli Nobel Prize winner blasted the haredi sector, claiming that the haredi educational system in Israel is worse than the school system operated by the Iranian government.

"The level of haredi education is terribly low," Professor Dan Shechtman told The Marker on Friday, adding that he viewed the haredi education system as inferior to that of Iran.

"You know that the Ayatollahs in Iran, who seem primitive to us, do not tell the children to read the Koran all day - they encourage them to learn science, and the result is that for every Israeli scientist and engineer there are 20 Iranian ones, " said Shechtman, who won the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 2011.

"The most important thing is to invest in education," Shechtman said. "What's most important is investing in education, and we're in a bad place, as the OECD indicates. It's not related to a particular government, it's been going on for years."

"The world is developing in the direction of automation and computerization, and masses of people will lose their jobs if they are not educated. It is important that future generations acquire knowledge so that they find their place in the labor market."

Haredi institutions do not teach the full "core curriculum" mandated by the Ministry of Education, instead limiting the teaching of some secular subjects, such as math, science, and English.

Last year, a judge dismissed a lawsuit by young ex-haredim who left the stringent and non-Zionist Orthodox community who had sought damages from haredi educational institutions and the State of Israel for failing to provide them with the necessary education to function in the secular world.