From the division to high-tech: the educational initiative for technological excellence
The plight of high-tech workers, even against the background of the current slowdown, encourages not only training courses, but also a change in the education system aimed at fostering technological excellence among high school students.
The profit, the Trump Foundation for Education promises, will be ours
Thursday, September 22, 2022, 10:51 am Updated: Saturday, September 24, 2022, 9:30 am
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Today's children are tomorrow's startups (Photo: ShutterStock)
Everyone talks about the crisis in high-tech and a widespread wave of layoffs, but we know from past experience that this is a period that will most likely pass quickly and high-tech will continue to be the leading engine of the start-up nation known as Israel.
Even before the crisis in the capital market, the corona virus did good for high-tech (unlike other companies in the economy): the field grew by 11% and many companies announced a shortage of workers.
"From many conversations with high-tech people in senior positions, company managers, investment funds and start-ups, we realized that more is needed," says Eli Horvitz, CEO of the Trump Foundation for Education. high, and when we asked them what exactly you need, they didn't know exactly what to say, only that it's important that they be good."
The Trump Foundation for Education previously promoted the program to improve the achievements of students in five units in mathematics, and succeeded in doubling the number of students in Israel who are approaching matriculation at this level.
"So if we doubled the number of boys and girls who enter the five-unit matriculation in mathematics, the question arises why in high tech we don't also see a higher female percentage? The understanding was that mathematics is very important for high tech but not enough."
At this point, the foundation turned to the Aharon Institute, which in collaboration with the data of the Central Bureau of Statistics managed to decipher the secret of the success of the Israeli hi-techists.
"The survey conducted by the Tashal Institute first of all showed that there are 390,000 high-tech workers in Israel, a figure that surprised many because just four years ago the number was much lower. They were actually asked what they studied in school, what skills are required in their job, and this survey opened many eyes."
What did you discover?
"We discovered that the great growth in the last four years was made possible, among other things, thanks to the doubling of those eligible for a five-unit matriculation in mathematics, we discovered that the demand in high-tech in recent years is very high. And above all, we discovered that the technological workers not only studied five units of mathematics, but also five units of English, five units of physics and five computer units. They didn't study chemistry or biology. We discovered a combination of majors that no one had considered as a package until then."
According to the report of the committee for increasing human capital in high-tech, in conjunction with the findings according to the report of the Aaron Institute, it was found that the main factor on the basis of which the State of Israel will be able to significantly increase the amount of high-tech workers in Israel is the number of students who graduate from high school with a full high-tech matriculation.
This is a paradigm shift, because for the first time, the State of Israel empirically links middle school and high school studies with its success in the high-tech sector, which is the engine of the Israeli economy.
Eli Horvitz CEO of the Trump Foundation for Education (Photo: Ingrid Mueller)
The competition is international
"At the end of the day, parents, and it doesn't matter which generation, always ask the question of what world our children are growing into," says Horvitz.
"And it's hard to know, they're small and the world is changing, and we find ourselves many times thinking that the way we were taught is what we need too. We read to them before going to bed the story in five balloons because that's what they read to us. We didn't always like the way they prepared us and the way they taught us, and when we remember it we suffered quite a bit and got bored, but when it's our turn we often just make a copy paste, and continue like our parents did."
And today parents understand that the world their children will grow up in is very different from the world they dreamed for them
"We always knew that each generation would have a better quality of life than the previous one, because there was growth and the direction was always positive. I don't know how to say that about my children. I don't know if they will be able to buy an apartment in Israel. We are already growing up in a world that is very digital, they You
are exposed to it at a very young age through the various means, and it is a very competitive world.
The competition for work is not with Galit MIB 2 but with Lee from Shanghai who studies very hard.
It is very global, many of us change places of residence much more than in the past, do relocation.
We are in a multicultural place also at work, working with Chinese, Indians, with people who are different from us.
As parents, we know that the world is very fast and changes very quickly, it requires from the children both knowledge and skills, which they need as part of the journey now.
"First of all, with an understanding that the education they receive is irrelevant and was built to serve a past world. The crisis that was in Corona sharpened this in a very acute way. Those who grasped the skills of the new world, who knew how to study independently, and be digital, got along, and those who didn't, were simply left behind."
The previous government established the committee to increase human capital in high-tech headed by
with the understanding that by 2026 Israeli high-tech, which stood at 9% at the time, should grow to 15% of the employed in the economy, and this also includes access to matriculation with an emphasis on female students, Arabic speakers and peripheral students who are currently underrepresented.
Perlmutter, former senior vice president at Intel Global, says: "The rapidly developing digital world before our eyes requires every country to develop human capital at the highest level and in increasing numbers, not only to feed the high-tech industry, but also to accelerate the digitization process of the economy, and to provide skilled workers to the fields who are undergoing a process of transformation in the development and operation of worlds beyond high-tech such as the pharmaceutical industry, the world of transportation, medicine, industry as a whole, etc.)
Those workers who have tech professions in all these tasks, in large part have great technological and scientific abilities. Therefore, it is no wonder that the Committee for Human Capital defined the The education system in general, and "high-tech matriculation" (5 units of mathematics, physics and/or computer science and English) as a basis whose importance cannot be underestimated for the Israeli economy. The committee places enormous emphasis on the quality and also the increasing quantity that will emerge from students from all parts of society in Israel."
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Dedi Perlmutter, chairman of the committee for increasing human capital in high-tech (photo: Fini Hamo)
The path to excellence in Israel is narrow
Horvitz explains that most of the hi-tech people are Jewish boys from the center of the country, and not because there is paving.
"It happens because in middle school you can choose a science class, Moft or Nachshon, for example. There is one such class where the children with the motivation and ability learn increased mathematics, physics, and computers, and no one else studies these subjects because it is not included in the division in the curriculum. When the children You reach the end of the 9th grade to choose a major for high school, those who studied in the excellent class will continue.
Those who did not study these subjects are at a disadvantage of three years compared to their friends who did study. There are children here who entered the high-tech track in the 7th grade without knowing it. And when you reach the end of a grade T. to choose the majors and maybe interested in something technological, the train has already left the station if you didn't get on it early."
And yet the field is growing and expanding, still expanding within itself?
"First of all, in Israel there are 11% of Jewish boys from the center of the country who are the Israeli high-tech, they are also the percentage who excel in the international PISA tests that also measure the skill in the job market. The ability to deal with mathematics, for example, in the context of real life. One of the things that is very special to Israel, and that is also gratifying And also saddening is that we have a narrow, homogeneous and exclusive pipeline of excellence, there is no exit and no entry. And it starts at the age of 12 in an excellence class, continues in high school, 8200, Technion and you are in Start Up Nation. And over the years the pipeline expands but does not diversify. The business expands mainly in the existing audience His.
And this is the locomotive that takes the Israeli hi-tech.
Imagine there were Arab girls, and boys from the periphery.
If they go on this route, there are those waiting for them later.
And this is the effort we are all in today after Dadi's committee, we all understand that expanding the excellence classes is not only for the first 40 children whose parents knew that there are entrance exams, but for everyone who is right and ready for the challenge.
Today, almost every boy and girl who shows willingness will be accepted."
As a girl who studied in a gifted class but dropped out of three math units, because in my generation there was a very sharp filtering of realistic and humane and there is no middle ground, first of all the system needs to be changed, right?
"This is indeed the reality we encountered when we started the process of strengthening the five units in mathematics. You, like many, are a product of this method that sorted and filtered. Children who entered five unit classes were those who thought they were "five unit material" and suffered from engineered dropout. The teachers taught quickly and like a movie Move mainly the blackboard and the book, not the student, and only the really excellent ones remain. The children can only survive.
But on the other hand, one of the biggest problems we found when we started, and this is a phenomenon common to Israel and North America, is that when you ask what will most affect your chances of success in mathematics in Asian countries, the answer - The degree of effort. And in Israel and the US, the answer is my talent.
At a young age, we taught ourselves that those who are good at literature are good at literature, but those who are good at mathematics are smart."
This means that we have turned this profession into a professional
"And if it adds up to the fact that it's a talent and if I have it then it will come, and if I don't have it, then it's a waste of effort, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy and that's what happened to you. When teachers say 'it's five material and it's not five material' and finish with small classes".
Can the education system in its current state accommodate such a transformation?
"The move we made with mathematics showed that if you work correctly, you can grow, it happened thanks to teachers who worked together and supervisors and managers. It's easy to blame the system when the graphs go down and here it was successful, and this is not the last subject in which the education system can show significant improvements, so yes it is possible. High-tech matriculation must To be mainly in the periphery, in Arab society, and to encourage girls, these are not goals in the sky. There are excellent teachers in the system. It is true that it is in a very big crisis due to all kinds of reasons and Corona is one of them, but it is also a global crisis where people work very hard and receive low wages, they say Why? But in the end, there are good people in the system and excellent teachers, and the fact that we have Start Up Nation didn't come out of nowhere."
I understand that from next year the math curriculum is changing and they are starting to teach a little differently, more in the direction of understanding life skills, understanding how the Iron Dome or an autonomous car works, for example.
But parents also have a role here?
"First of all for the parents. Parents are less aware of the importance of the middle school. The classes were established in 1968 in Israel with the aim of reducing gaps, but in practice over the years they discovered that they only strengthened them. The parents think that it is necessary to invest in elementary and high school studies and the class is a social period of time. But in the end it is too late, Certainly for those who don't study these subjects in the division in the technological classes.
That's why I think that telling parents that the future begins in the division is important, they should be told: wake up. Those who want to work in high-tech, for those who don't want to close that door and didn't choose a science class or an excellence class, it might be Too late in high school. The train leaves the station in middle school and it is sometimes very difficult for students to fill these gaps when they reach high school. The Ministry of Education is aware of this, and opens more and more excellent classes. Children will hardly be told no if they want to join. Parents should understand this and not give up either push their girls."