Israel will introduce STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects to Israeli children in kindergarten through middle school, to encourage scientific thinking and prepare them for their adult lives and potential high-tech jobs, announced Israel’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology Orit Farkash-Hacohen and Minister of Education Yifat Shasha-Bitton.

In the upcoming school year, Israeli middle-school students will learn computer science and robotics in a pilot program aimed at widening and diversifying the talent pool of potential future high-tech employees.

Today, 10 percent of Israeli high-school students choose to learn a STEM topic at an advanced level for their matriculation exams. These topics are considered good indicators for working in the high-tech sector and are prioritized by universities and employers. In addition, these subjects have been shown to enable greater social mobility.

“We must allow every student the opportunity to advance in the subjects they are interested in, and where they can best utilize their strengths,” said Shasha-Bitton. “It is our job to make various fields accessible to the students, including those related to high-tech, in which Israel is considered a global leader.”

“This program is relevant to every Israeli household, and it is a significant part of my vision for turning Israeli technologies and innovation into a catalyst of social change that helps advance the financial security of each household,” said Farkash-Hacohen.

She noted that the Israeli high-tech industry needs quality workers, and this program is the start of a long-term solution.

“Israel is joining other high tech-oriented countries which incentivize educational programs in computer sciences from kindergarten through the end of high school,” she said. “It is only natural that our children will become acquainted with the computing world at an early age, seeing as it is woven into, and affects, every field of our lives.”

This article was first published by Israel21c.

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