Israeli Arabs, who constitute 20 percent of the Israeli population, are harshly discriminated against in Israel's education system, according to data published by the daily economic TheMarker on Wednesday.
During the 2012-13 school year, Jewish students got an average of 2.9 percent more teaching hours than their Arab counterparts did, the data showed.
The report said the Education Ministry has added teaching hours recently after cutting back on 250,000 teaching hours throughout Israeli schools in the past decade due to budgetary reasons.
However, whereas a Jewish student at junior high school level received an extra 1.81 teaching hours on average, an Arab one in the same age got 1.63 more hours. In high school, Arab students got 1.93 more teaching hours as opposed to the Jewish students' 1. 98.
Figures also showed gaps in students' achievements in matriculation exams and international math and English exams. For example, on average, Jewish students scored 460 points out of 800 in math exams, when Arab students scored 372.
Moreover, only 18.9 percent of Arab high school graduates attend higher education institutions, compared to 36.4 percent of the Jewish graduates, according to accumulated statistics.
Responding to the report, the Education Ministry said its Minister Shai Piron has set "as one of his main goals" promoting education in the Arab sector and minimizing the gaps between the two communities.
Meanwhile, another new report, issued by Hirak, an Arab center of Advancements of Arabs in the Higher Education establishment, found that only 11 percent of Israeli Arabs are accepted into colleges and they constitute only 10 percent of those holding bachelor's degrees.
The report showed that only 23 percent of the Arab high school graduates meet the college admission terms, compared to 47 percent of Jewish graduates. It also found that averagely Arabs score 123 points less than their Jewish counterparts in psychometric exams.
Arab college graduates earn 974 U.S. dollars, less than their Israeli counterparts, and many of them are unemployed, said the report, which predicts that as many as 30,000 Arab graduates will not be able to find a job in 2015.
The report cited several issues barring Arabs to compete with their Jewish counterparts, including social economic backgrounds ( two thirds of Arab children live under the poverty line), lack of resources provided by the state, as well as discrimination in admission to colleges and universities.
In October last year, the Council for Higher Education (CHE) announced a 83.5-million-dollar program to make academic facilities more accessible to minorities.
The CHE asks institutions to offer different services for Arab students like counseling and orientation, and requires them to set up workshops in Arabic and translate course websites into Arabic.
In addition, universities are required to put forward their own proposals to integrate Arab students in their programs and address the high dropout rate.