Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) on Wednesday presented the number of high school students doing five points on their mathematics matriculation exams.
Five points is the highest level of difficulty.
So far, the program has opened 185 new 5-point mathematics tracks. In June 2017, 16,085 students took the five-point exam, with the number jumping to 18,050 this year.
"We did it, we doubled the number of five-unit math students in Israel within three years," Bennett said. "We were seeing a descent in the number of students, and this was a disaster and we had to change it."
"We did it and now there's 18,000 students, especially in the periphery - in Shlomi, in Sderot, in Be'er Sheva, in Eilat, that are all doing the highest quality math.
"I'm very proud of them."
Bennett also said that before the program began, there was an "imminent risk and danger that Israel would lose its leadership as the startup nation."
"Now I can say that we've saved Israel," he concluded.
Peres Center for Peace and Innovation Chairman Nehemia (Chemi) Peres said, "I think that what we have seen today is that if you set up a vision and you set up a target and you work hard to achieve it, it can be achieved. Even if it seems to be impossible initially, still it can be done."
"I think this is a lesson to all Israelis today, that with hard work and vision, we can change things for the better."
Peres also said his father, the late President Shimon Peres, would be proud of the new math program.
"Usually I don't speak on behalf of my father, but I know that he supported this program, and he was giving himself to run the campaign," Peres said. "I'm sure that when you see the numbers, when you see the facts on the ground, he would be very happy, even though he would be pushing to do even more."