Professional issues in Israeli education 1981-82

David Zisenwine*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial


One of the major continuing issues in the Israeli educational system over the last three years has been the professional status of the classroom teacher. The issue has been kept in front of the public through the determination and action of the elementary and secondary school teachers’ unions. These unions, which in combined force, represent almost all of the teachers in the government schools, religious and general, have become aggressive in pursuing their goal of ameliorating the status of teachers in Israel. The teachers claim that the last several years have witnessed a serious decline in the status of the teacher, a failure to attract competent and qualified people to the profession, and a failure to reward and stimulate the best people in the system. One of the symptoms of this lack of esteem for teachers was the decline in their real wages, and therefore, a concrete expression of lack of regard for teaching by the Israeli society. However, the Israeli press and public opinion, would have preferred to see the teachers’ cause as an exclusively economic issue. They preferred to say that this was merely another sector of the economy demanding its just share of the Israeli inflationary spiral. The unions saw this as a more complex social values issue. The teachers began to express serious discontent during the 1978-79 school year, and at that time threatened a series of work stoppages, and even strikes, if their demands were not dealt with. The Israeli government, always hard pressed by wage increase demands, began to relate to the teachers seriously at the end of 1978, and on January 16, 1979, appointed a special governmental commission to investigate the situation. This commission was officially known as the "Governmental Commission for the Investigation of the Status of Teachers and the Teaching Profession.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-11
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Jewish Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 1981


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