80% of Israeli teachers say they're underpaid

Most Israeli teachers believe schools are understaffed, more needs to be invested in special needs and disadvantaged students.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Teacher (illustrative)
Teacher (illustrative)

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published the results of the international TALIS survey for 2018.

Forty-eight countries participated in the survey, which included teachers and principals of students in grades 7-9.

SIxty-one percent of Israeli teachers said teaching was their first choice of career, compared to the OECD average of 67%. However, 96% of Israeli teachers said the reason for their choice was that they wanted to be part of and contribute to children's development and society, higher than the OECD average (90%).

The average Israeli teacher is 42 years old, two years younger than her OECD counterparts, and just 27% of Israeli teachers are above age 50, significantly lower than the OECD average (34%).

Fifty percent of Israeli principals are women, as are 76% of Israeli teachers.

Ninety-three percent of Israeli teachers believe teachers and students get along well, similar to OECD's average of 96%. Twenty-six percent of Israeli principals reported threats or verbal abuse among students, and thirteen percent reported violence leading to physical injury among students - significantly higher than the OECD averages of 14% and 2% respectively.

Fifty-seven percent of new Israeli teachers (with up to 5 years experience) participated in teacher mentoring programs, nearly double the OECD average (31%). Forty-seven percent of new teachers reported that a teacher had been appointed to mentor them, over double the OECD average (22%).

Ninety-six percent of Israeli teachers and 99% of Israeli principals participated in additional professional training in the year prior to the survey, compared to 94% and 99% in the OECD.

Over half Israeli teachers (52%) "often" or "always" use digital technology when preparing their lessons, compared to 53% in the OECD. However, less than half of Israeli teachers (49%) regularly give their students assignments which require critical thinking - less than the OECD's average 58%. Only a third of Israeli teachers (35%) ask their students to find their own solutions to difficult problems, compared to almost half of OECD teachers (45%).

While just over one-third (35%) of Israeli teachers allow students to work in small groups to solve problems, a full half (50%) of OECD teachers do the same.

And while the OECD average for the percentage of class time spent learning is 78%, Israel falls short, with just 75% of time spent on academics.

Thirty-five to forty-five percent of Israeli teachers also noted a severe lack of manpower in schools, with a lack of qualified teachers able to teach various subjects, students from various backgrounds, and special needs students, as well as the lack of a support system. The OECD average was 15-30%.

And over 80% of Israeli educators (84%) teaching students in grades 7-9 believe teachers are underpaid, compared to 64% of OECD teachers. Eighty-one percent of Israeli teachers believe there needs to be a lower student-staff ratio, compared to the OECD's 65%.

More Israeli teachers than OECD teachers (66% vs OECD's 47%) believe there needs to be more invested in special needs students, and 60% (vs OECD's 33%) believe more needs to be invested in immigrant students and students from disadvantaged backgrounds.