In order to help meet the critical decline in qualified mathematics and science high school teachers, the Israel Ministry of Education will launch a new venture in September, 2012. The idea behind it is quite simple: students from schools across the country will sit at computers in their educational institutions participating in virtual classes in groups of 20 students, for about 3-4 hours per week.
Similar sized groups of students will study with virtual mentors - who are outstanding university students - in the afternoon hours.
More than 60 schools have already expressed interest in the pilot project, in which about 150 students will study mathematics and physics during the next school year. Money currently invested in developing the project - virtual labs, computerized simulations, and recruiting outstanding teachers who will serve as virtual teachers - comes from the Trump Foundation which has invested more than seven million dollars for funding the first two years. The Ministry of Education itself also will invest millions of dollars in developing the project. Proponents hope that within three years the virtual high school will teach 1,000 students.