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המכללה האקדמית בית ברל > English > About Us > News > Newsletter > November 2021 Newsletter > Joint Venture Helps Israel Invest in Early Childhood Education

Joint Venture Helps Israel Invest in Early Childhood Education

A newly launched collaboration between Beit Berl College and Western Galilee College aims to address the acute shortage of qualified teachers, especially in early childhood education.

Academic studies highlight the direct correlation between the quality of early childhood education and a child's future development, and the shortage of teachers in Israeli kindergartens and grade schools has become an especially urgent issue.

Beit Berl's reputation as Israel's premier college of education prompted Western Galilee College, located in Akko (Acre), to approach Beit Berl and initiate the joint program for the benefit of its students. The new joint venture that was launched in October is part of Beit Berl's effort to bring strong new candidates into teaching.

The new program enables Education students from Western Galilee College to earn teaching certificates at Beit Berl, and is currently available to students in three tracks: early childhood education, elementary education and special education. There are 45 students in the current pilot program, divided evenly among the three tracks.

Until now, because Western Galilee College does not offer teaching certification, its hundreds of students had to first complete their three-year degree and then continue for two more years at a different institution to earn a teaching certificate. "The new collaboration enables them to start studying for their teaching certificate during the third year of their B.A., as long as they have completed 80% of their course load in the first two years. As a result, they save an entire year of studies and can begin working as teachers a year earlier," explains Dr. Chait Shaham, head of Beit Berl's Teacher Development Unit.

During their third year, participating students take courses at Beit Berl remotely, via Zoom, and conduct practical studies in elementary schools, special education schools and kindergartens in Acco and Kiryat Bialik under the supervision of Beit Berl pedagogic experts.

This is the first time Beit Berl is collaborating in this way with another college of education. Western Galilee College is a good fit since its student body consists of both Jews and Arabs, just like Beit Berl's. Students from both sectors study together in the program, and those from the Arab community carry out their practical studies in Arab schools in Akko.

"The collaboration is going well. Next year, we plan to expand the program," says Dr. Shaham.

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