In the near future, Israeli students will receive a matriculation certificate without a matriculation test. Presently this applies to three subjects - history, Bible and literature - the revolutionary process is designed to encourage deep experiential learning rather than memorization of material. Instead of taking matriculation exams, students will perform various tasks throughout the year on the computer, at home and in class with close supervision of their teachers. The final grade will be made up of the grades given to the various assignments and will appear on the matriculation certificate.
The Israel Ministry of Education is currently conducting a pilot project that will encompass 40 to 45 high schools (15 schools per school subject). The pilot will be accompanied by an evaluation study that will examine all aspects of the new program and as per its degree of success, the Ministry of Education will consider expanding it to all schools. The schools that will be eligible to participate in the pilot will be selected from those with advanced computer systems, and whose educational staff is motivated and interested in leading the innovative process. As already mentioned, at this stage the pilot will be implemented in Bible, literature and history studies.
Israel Education Minister Naftali Bennett said, "The world is changing at a faster pace than ever, and the education system must adapt itself. The experiment we will be conducting in the coming school year is part of a whole range of activities we are currently examining, in order to change the learning and assessment system to fit the era in which we are living."
The head of the Pedagogical Secretariat at the Ministry of Education, Dr. Moshe Weinstock, added that after completion of the process of selecting the pilot schools, the teachers will participate in training courses in preparation for the program's implementation at the beginning of the next school year. According to Weinstock, learning will be done through computer operations throughout the year, including reading, text and content analysis, watching movies, collaborative assignments, writing, etc., all of which will be carried out with supervision and close teaching by teachers.
Weinstock notes that the program encourages the maximal utilization of the digital tools that the computer enables for the acquisition of extensive knowledge and an independent learning experience. Each student will be able to choose the pace of his learning and personal progress. In addition to using digital tools, frontal lessons will be conducted on the contents learned on the computer. In total, computer learning will be two-thirds of the hours of study, and a third of the lessons will be conducted in the classroom. The teacher will guide the learning process while providing individual feedback to each student as well as class assessment. According to Weinstock, the final matriculation score will be composed equally from an objective score to be assessed by the computer and by the teacher's evaluation. In accordance with the pilot's success, the possibility of learning by this method beginning in junior high schools will be considered.