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Education in Israel: Adult Education

The rapid expansion of opportunities for adult education reflects the challenges facing the education system and the society at large. A wide range of courses sponsored by the Ministry of Education, as well as by public and private institutions, address individual needs ranging from learning the Hebrew language and upgrading basic educational skills to promoting family well­being and expanding general knowledge, while the Ministry of Labor provides vocational training and retraining for adults in many fields. Most programs are available in the large cities, as well as in many towns. All in all, adult education as a leisure activity is becoming increasingly popular in Israel, especially among senior citizens.

Hebrew language instruction on many levels, using the specially­developed ulpan method, helps immigrants and other population groups to integrate into the mainstream of Israeli life. Compensatory education, designed to reduce educational and cultural disparities among adults in Israel, is tailored to the world of adult learners to enable them to complete their formal education. Vocational training courses, both in day and night classes, are available at centers jointly operated by the Ministry of Labor and industrial enterprises, as well as in institutions for technological and professional training. The courses, lasting from a few weeks to one year, include basic instruction, in­service and on­the­job­training, as well as the retraining of academically and professionally trained adults (mainly immigrants) whose professions are not in demand. Family instruction and guidance programs aim at improving the quality of family and community life by developing and enhancing family well­being.

"Popular universities" all over the country offer hundreds of adult education classes and workshops in academic subjects as well as the arts. Special radio broadcasts for immigrants include a 'university on the air' program.