Nov. 21, 2010
Haaretz reports that as part of a joint project with the Israel Defense Forces, 100 high school students will be chosen each year to participate in a special elite program that allows them to complete a bachelor's degree before performing an extended army service of six years, instead of the usual two or three. During the six years, they would serve as school teachers, primarily in the periphery. This is part of the Israeli Education Ministry's plans to improve the quality of instruction at the country's schools.
The new program is going through the final stages of approval at the defense and education ministries, and is expected to start drafting high school graduates at the end of the current school year.
Chosen recruits would study for a bachelor's degree in the sciences or in English at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and receive a scholarship covering 85% of their tuition, along with up to NIS 16,500 a year for three years to cover living expenses. They will receive teaching certificates along with their bachelor's degrees, as well as complimentary laptops.
Should they decide to pursue a master's degree in education or in a subject related to their bachelor's degree, they would also receive a full scholarship.
The program will target outstanding 12th graders who have high scores on their psychometric exams and have completed advanced math and English classes. The IDF will work with high school principals to identify possible candidates, particularly students from the periphery.
The government plans to launch a promotional campaign for the program within the next few weeks.