With Israeli productivity 24% below the OECD average, the Bank of Israel's Research Department has issued a report proposing ways to narrow the gap. Focusing on education, the Bank of Israel proposes greater investment in education and switching to a five-day school week with longer school days.
The Bank of Israel research Department observes that while Israel has a comparatively high number of academically educated people in the population, the quality of education is poor. In addition, inequality of achievement between the different population groups in Israel is very large. The Bank of Israel stresses the direct connection between the quality of higher education and productivity.
The Bank of Israel believes that the answer is greater investment in education and especially for the lower socioeconomic sectors with more financing for the disadvantaged. The Bank of Israel feels it is more important to improve the quality of the teachers than the size of classes or add extra hours. To attract better quality teachers, financial incentives and better work conditions must be put in place including improving the physical environment of schools.
The Bank of Israel proposes switching to a five-day week and canceling school on Fridays. The longer school day on the other five days will help working parents.
The Bank of Israel also wants more investment in transport infrastructure to reduce traffic jams, a congestion fee, and more effort to cut government bureaucracy. The Bank of Israel estimates that all the proposed investments would cost 3% of GDP but increase productivity by 20% in the long-term.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on August 18, 2019
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