Big rise in single-sex education in Israel

By Zoe Winograd, March 28, 2013

According to a recent study there has been a 40 per cent rise in gender-segregated learning in Israeli state religious schools.

Ariel Finkelshtain, a researcher for the religious Zionist organisation Ne’emanei Torah Va’Avodah, used data from the Education Ministry website to put together an analysis on the subject.

The research found a positive correlation between gender-segregated schooling and wealthier families, noting that 9 per cent of students at segregated schools came from lower income families, while 34.5 per cent of the same group attended mixed schools.

Mr Finkleshtain also found that there were more boys than girls in gender-integrated schools with a ratio of 52 to 48, whilst in gender segregated environments the result was the opposite.

The report said: “This shows the desire of some parents in the state religious school system to send their daughters to schools with gender-separate education and their boys to schools with mixed classes. This desire apparently stems from the common conception that a mixed-gender environment can be good for the boys but can harm the girls.”

According to Ha’aretz, the council governing this network of schools recently issued directives aimed at standardising gender separation in the system’s elementary schools.

Last updated: 1:39pm, March 28 2013