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.