Most Israelis enlist to the IDF at the age of 18, after the majority of them have finished high school. There are some Israelis who enlist without a high school diploma. The IDF has developed the “High School Diploma Completion Course” (HSDCC) that allows these soldiers to earn their high school diplomas.
Every year, nearly 300 soldiers finish 12 years of studying in just five months at HSDCC. The school days last around 11 hours and include classes in geography, reading comprehension, composition, English, math, and civics.
The course is optional, which means that the soldiers who go to the course are driven. “There are soldiers who call and ask for their diplomas so that they can be hired for specific jobs. They have a lot of motivation,” commented Lt. Michal.
The HSDCC Staff
The course requires specially trained commanders who are able to teach soldiers. As a part of the commanders’ training, they need to learn educational disciplines taught in schools and how to teach their soldiers those subjects.
The sergeants and second lieutenants are responsible for the discipline in the course. However, the person who is in charge of making sure that everything runs smoothly is the company commander. As a company commander, Lt. Michal needs to know everything that happens in her company, act as a coordinator, and build the course structure.
Advantages and Challenges
“It’s challenging taking soldiers who haven’t studied a day in their lives and putting them in a school environment every day for 11 hours a day or more. While this is quite difficult, it’s also very satisfying to take soldiers who think they can’t do it and give them the tools to succeed and get their diplomas. Suddenly, they start studying and taking an interest in learning. It’s a shock to them and it’s so satisfying for us.”