While the IDF debates Hesder soldiers' protests against
assigning female soldiers to their units, in another arena,
extreme liberalism, with its concern for "equal rights for
women" -- and arbitrary disregard for common sense and Jewish
values -- has been shown to hinder elementary and high school
students through one of the symbols of secular education:
forcing boys and girls to study together.
Ha'aretz' education reporter writes, "The academic
literature in the field of education is filled with data on
the importance of separating boys and girls during the
learning process. Education researchers are well aware that
girls' performance improves when they are given an opportunity
to study in separate classrooms." She also notes that in
Western nations, separate studies for girls is de rigueur in
prestigious private schools, but in Israel, "the public balks
at the idea of separate classrooms, which are associated with
religious education, where girls are separated from boys for
Now it seems the kibbutzim could actually be the first to
admit their mistake and experiment with separate studies.
This year regional high school Mevo'ot Eiron, which is
affiliated with kibbutzim Ein Shemer, Ma'anit, Metzer and
Barkai, conducted what she refers to as an "instructive"
experiment. Ninth grade girls studied physics in a separate
classroom and twelfth grade boys were also removed from their
regular mixed classrooms to study literature for matriculation
exams. Both the boys and the girls benefited from the
experiment, achieving higher grades and demonstrating greater
mastery of the material.
The reporter wrote that although a controlled experiment of
math and science instruction in separate classrooms has not
yet been conducted in secular Israeli schools, higher
achievements among girls who learn in separate classrooms can
be seen by comparing the performance of girls in secular
government schools to that of girls enrolled in religious
schools. The rate of outstanding performance in religious
schools on high-level matriculation exams in math and physics
is 10% higher than the rate among girls in secular schools.
Despite the extensive data available, the heads of the secular
school system insist on mixed schools, since the public
resists the idea of separate classrooms.