Most of the discourse around the Israeli economy focuses on the high-tech industry and its much-sought-after workers.
It focuses on the lack of labor that prevails in this booming sector and the splendid conditions and wages of those who work there. It seems that anyone who can write even the simplest code will immediately be chosen as a software developer or analyst by these companies.
Meanwhile, the country’s kindergartens are full of children who have no one to take care of them because the country is dealing with a severe shortage of kindergarten workers. A true national crisis that nobody seems to know about.
The lack of caregivers and educators has a direct impact on what is most precious to all of us: our children.
The heads of the local authorities are working around the clock to try to make sure that each kindergarten has enough assistants, as no one really wants to work such a demanding job in today’s shameful conditions.
Kindergarten teachers are also extremely rare and any illness or absence usually results in a crisis.
In special education the situation is not much better and the challenge is twofold due to the nature of the work.
In pre-compulsory kindergartens for 3-5 year olds, there should be two assistants and one teacher for each study group, but in practice you will only find one assistant or alternatively one assistant who was promoted to teacher together with an alternate assistant. .
In a kindergarten, an assistant who applied for a job received a phone call from someone at the local authority where she lives, who informed her that she could start immediately, but not as an assistant, but as a substitute teacher.
Training? Studies? Forget it. This is what a system that struggles to survive day by day looks like.
The prevailing argument in favor of the current inequality between different economic sectors is that high technology is a private industry, while education is part of the public sphere.
And while it may be true, there is little justification for distorting national priorities.
We are the ones who serenely accept that those who help our children go to the bathroom, blow their noses, feed them, play and hug them receive a meager pay with no advance on the horizon.
The State of Israel is the one that encourages kindergartens to offer “high-tech programs for children” and invests millions in assistance to the private sector.
Meanwhile, he is unaware of the red flags that arise when kindergartens close one after another due to a lack of adequate staff.
As in high-tech, it all comes down to marketing.
Proudly being the nation to start with, Israel prefers to focus on profiting rather than being at the forefront of the fight for the rights of educators who welcome children of high-tech workers into their kindergartens for less than a third. of what a software developer or an engineer does.
The COVID pandemic seems, at least, to have subsided and the education system is in a somewhat functional state, albeit broken and exhausted.
To end this crisis, we must express our solidarity with our educators, who seem invisible to our government.
If we refuse to accept the broken system in which our children study, perhaps eventually there will be a slight shift in Israel’s labor market, ultimately skewed and unfair.