Tech education crisis pushes Intel, Israel to partner
Jun. 30, 2014
Fewer than 10% of Israeli high school students take advanced courses in math and science — and at Intel, that’s bad for business. One possible remedy is a joint effort by the sprawling multinational and the Israeli government to change the emphasis in schools.
“Especially in a country like Israel, where Intel is such a large part of the economy, we need to encourage more kids to study math and science, because if we don’t, Intel, and Israeli society in general, will have a hard time developing the technologies of tomorrow,” said Shelly Esque, Global Director of Intel’s Corporate Affairs Group.
“Unfortunately, STEM education is in a crisis,” said Esque. “Even in India, there are fewer high school graduates entering engineering each year.” STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics — the “hard” subjects that tech development is based on.
Intel knows all about encouraging STEM studies, said Esque. The company has a full range of ready-to-go curricula that teachers and schools can use, from the earliest grades till after high school. For kids in the upper grades, Intel has a range of practical programs, such as supplying mentors to a community to work directly with kids, hands-on training, internships, competitions and more.
That’s true for Israel as well, said Mooly Eden, Intel International Senior Vice-President and CEO of Intel Israel. Fewer than 10% of high school students in Israel are enrolled in advanced mathematics programs (the “five math unit” modules), generally required for admission to top-flight math and science programs in universities. Enrollment in these modules has fallen by almost half since 2006, Education Ministry figures show.
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