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    13 April

    | 2021 | 10:00

    Discussion Day on the Subject of Government Decision 3790

    • Invites Only
    • Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research, Radak 20, Jerusalem
    • Invites Only
    • Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research, Radak 20, Jerusalem
    Discussion Day on the Subject of Government Decision 3790

    Photo by:  Yossi Zamir, Shatil Stock.


    The Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research held its annual discussion day and presented the latest research on Government Decision 3790 (Reducing Social and Economic Disparities and Advancing Economic Development in East Jerusalem).

    Three studies, carried out in 2020, were presented over the course of the day:

    Economist Netta Porzycki presented one study on employment and economic indicators and another that involved a survey of human capital and an earning capacity index.

    Omer Yaniv presented a study on education and higher education indicators.

    The discussion was introduced by Liron Iflach from the Ministry of Jerusalem and Heritage.

    Opening Remarks (Hebrew)

    Netta Porzycki – Employment and Economic Indicators

    Government Decision 3790, passed in 2018, emphasized aspects of employment and economics. The findings of an indicators’ study by Nadav Caspi and Yamit Naftali focusing on these areas were presented last year for the first time. The data presented at the time provides the baseline for current and future comparisons. Porzycki presented the latest data collected in these areas. Several new indicators were added this year following requests by various partners to the decision’s implementation, and new data was added regarding the current situation in the wake of the pandemic.


    Indicators – Economics and Employment (Hebrew)


    Unlike last year, when only survey data was used, this year the evaluation also included administrative data. This is in response to the relatively low number of survey respondents from East Jerusalem in CBS surveys. Survey data is expected to represent the population, but when the sample size is too small, the findings cannot be considered representative. Administrative data is more precise, although not free of other methodological limitations, such as difficulty in relying on salary reporting.


    Indicators – main findings:

    • Both men and women in East Jerusalem were more severely impacted during the pandemic compared to their relative proportion of Jerusalem’s overall workforce. When examining unemployment among women, deterioration was noted in the general situation of many women in Jerusalem, across the city’s various communities. Before COVID-19, the percentage of women receiving unemployment benefits was 1% among Jewish women and 0.2% among Arab women. During the pandemic, these figures increased to 6.4% of Jewish women and 3.2% of Arab women.
    • Despite these findings, the multi-annual workforce among Arab women in Jerusalem remained unchanged, at about 23%.
    • The data shows an improvement in the utilization of rights in East Jerusalem, but there is still room for further improvement in terms of existing financial difficulties.
    • The average salary of employed Arab women in Jerusalem (NIS 6,400 based on administrative data) is very similar to the average salary of Arab women in Israel in general (NIS 6,750), but it is important to note that the administrative salary is very different from the salary that appears in CBS surveys, which in 2017 was NIS 4,407.
    • The rate of businesses that received COVID-19 related support is identical between East and West Jerusalem.

    Netta Porzycki – Human Capital

    Human Capital (Hebrew)

    Government Decision 3790 states that employment rates in East Jerusalem should be raised, and residents’ productivity increased. This study aims to map and analyze the human capital of young people in East Jerusalem, in order to focus governmental and municipal plans and policies to suit the needs of the East Jerusalem labor market, open professional training courses suited to residents, and facilitate support in overcoming the barriers that exist in the labor market. This is aimed at further integrating residents into employment in general and in quality employment in particular, given an understanding of the gaps between education and employment.

    The study includes the use of existing data collected by the CBS and the National Insurance Institute, focus groups, and surveys that include, to the best of our knowledge, the largest number of respondents surveyed on this subject. This study was carried out with the support of numerous partners: The Ministry of Jerusalem, the Jerusalem Municipality, and the Philanthropic Forum organized by the Joint-ELKA.

    Human Capital Survey – Main Findings

    • The type of high school matriculation certificate impacts students’ higher education decisions. Students who completed Palestinian scientific matriculation are more likely to study subjects in areas such as medicine, natural sciences, and high-tech. Nearly all graduates in these fields work in their field of study, and their pay is higher.
    • The women are educated: They have a significantly higher level of education than their male counterparts, but despite this many of them are not currently employed and never were. In addition, their higher education negatively impacts their salary. Among men, however, education does not affect salary.
    • Women work full time nearly as much as men, but their salaries are below the minimum wage.
    • Most residents choose a place of work based on interest, their field of study, and pay, and less based on proximity to their home or social and familial considerations.
    • A sense of discrimination in recruitment to work is more widespread among those working with Jews, such as in the services and construction industries.
    • Both men and women noted their lack of professional experience and networking opportunities as the most significant barrier to suitable employment, in addition to racism and discrimination on the part of employers.
    • Women added difficulties with Hebrew and English language proficiency.

    Omer Yaniv – Indicators for Education and Higher Education in East Jerusalem

    In the areas of education and higher education, Government Decision 3790 defined the following goals:

    • Expanding integration into the general Israeli curriculum within Arab education in Jerusalem;
    • Increasing the number of students participating in technical education;
    • Increasing the number of students participating in informal education programs;
    • Reducing student dropout rates.

    Yaniv presented several indicators, including data on students in Jerusalem’s Arab education by grade and legal status, 2019/20;

    Education and Higher Education in East Jerusalem (Hebrew)

    proficiency in Hebrew (spoken) among the Arab population of Jerusalem; the number of 1st graders in the Israeli program added to Arab education institutions in Jerusalem, 2017/18 – 2021/22; the number of students studying, applying and eligible for an Israeli Bagrut certificate within the Arab education curriculum in Jerusalem, 2018/19 and 2019/20 school years.


    Education and Higher Education – Discussion:

    Suggestions for data collection and specification

    • Zion Regev, Manager of the Jerusalem Education Administration, decided to collect information regarding the transition of students to the Israeli education curriculum: Which type of school did the students come from and what else do we know about them? For instance, we know about students from Jabal Mukabar who travel to schools outside the neighborhood in order to be able to attend the Israeli curriculum. in addition, we know that in the past few years, dozens of preschools have been opened, offering the Israeli program (30-50 each year), a fact that is expected to affect the future schools attended by these students (in the past, due to a lack of preschools, students enrolled only in charter schools).
    • Regev further asked to distinguish between basic and advanced technical education.
    • Nabila Manaa, Deputy Commissioner of education in East Jerusalem, noted that it is safe to assume that the dropout rate is higher than that shown in the data and that the Jerusalem Municipality has only been following dropout levels as of 2016.
    • Avner Sa’adon, Manager of the strategic division at the Jerusalem Municipality, proposed re-administering parental surveys administered by the municipality in the past, to satisfy the request of David Koren from the Ministry of Education for information regarding satisfaction rates. Zion Regev noted that the Jerusalem Education Administration has the ability to independently carry out surveys and suggested postponing such a survey until additional students have joined the Israeli curriculum. Dganit Levi from the Jerusalem Institute noted the dearth of information regarding the factors affecting the selection of schools by parents – the considerations for selection of curriculums, etc. There is also a shortage of information regarding dropout rates from the Israeli program – follow-up is needed on the individual student level.
    • Ashraf Jabor, Manager of the “Riad” National Plan for expanding access to higher education, notes the importance of distinguishing between data about the Bagrut high school certificate – whether it meets the threshold conditions for university admission, or is only partial.


    Demand for schools teaching the Israeli curriculum

    • Koren noted that in his experience the number of students interested in the Israeli curriculum is higher than the actual number of students moving to schools offering it. Although there is no official information, we see great demand for the Israeli curriculum and a move to it in Junior High. He proposes segmenting the information by neighborhoods and analyzing the predominant ages of transition between programs (Preschool, Elementary, and Junior High) – in order to adjust the policy activities to public behavior. Lior Shilat, CEO of the Jerusalem Institute, noted that students who switch to the Israeli curriculum in Junior High find it difficult to overcome their knowledge gaps. The general population can be divided into three groups: those who will definitely switch to the Israeli curriculum, those who definitely will not, and a middle group who will switch if certain conditions are met. He estimates that the first group has yet to be fully identified and therefore we see an increase in the number of applicants to the Israeli program. Manaa noted that currently, the priority is to open new schools teaching the Israeli curriculum rather than integrating it in existing schools.
    • Doaa Kaabiya from the Council for Higher Education noted that as the aim is integration in employment and higher education – the Israeli program should only be the method, and not the objective itself. The Palestinian program also has its benefits, such as English.
    • Moshe Kaptowsky from East Jerusalem Development Ltd. said that while the current paradigm is that the Israeli curriculum is a guarantee for success, in practice there are many barriers. The Israeli program has many advantages, although not necessarily in admission to academic studies and employment. We see graduates of the Israeli program that find it very difficult to integrate. The Hebrew language barrier is a major problem.
    • Arik Barbing from the East Jerusalem Development Unit said that recently the number of Hebrew language teaching hours had been reduced to 3, which is wholly insufficient. The more weekly hours we dedicate to a topic, the more it is perceived as important, and consequently, its success rates will rise. In academia, they are trying to close this gap through a Hebrew language preparatory program.
    • Ashraf Jabor: The Israeli program is perceived as being prestigious. If parents, teachers, and students see that few succeed – they will not come. We will have achieved the opposite result. We need to identify where the barriers are and what is lacking on the path to a good Bagrut certificate and act in those places. For instance, if a particular exam is missing – we need to see that it is completed. Our work needs to be adjusted to meet the needs of those with learning difficulties (“Mabar”), specific courses of study, and gifted student programs.