A team of educational experts from the World Bank recently came to meet with the leadership of Israel Sci-Tech Schools and tour several of its 206 schools to see how its advancements in science, technology and mathematics education could be exported to other countries.
World Bank officials focused on the network’s “iSTEAM” (innovation, science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) curriculum, which adds creativity and humanities to the traditional STEM subjects to better prepare students for jobs of the future; and its Whole Child Education Model, a globally recognized program focusing on the personal well-being and happiness of students.
In addition to sitting in on lessons and meetings with principals, teachers and students, the delegation toured Sci-Tech’s unique Moshinsky R&D center in Tel Aviv and met with government representatives to learn how the school network collaborates with the ministries of Education, Economy and Industry, and Foreign Affairs.
“It is really clear from what we have seen that there is a sense of community, volunteering and belonging. It is not just the advanced science and technology but the value of human resources that has built Israel,” remarked Margot Hoftijzer, a senior economist at the Education Global Practice of the World Bank, after visiting the Israel Sci-Tech School in Yokneam, a periphery town in northern Israel.
There are some 100,000 students and 500,000 alumni of Israel Sci-Tech, the largest independent network of science and technology educational institutions in Israel.
“We are keen to further explore how the most relevant of Israel Sci-Tech Schools Network’s approaches can be disseminated to a wider group of World Bank staff, and potentially to our counterparts in countries of the Europe and Central Asia region and beyond”, added Cristian Aedo, practice manager, Global Practice Education Europe and Central Asia for the World Bank.
Israel Sci-Tech Schools Director General Zvi Peleg said he hopes “other countries will be able to learn from our experience, and emulate our models successfully.”