The Tamar Centre was founded by members of the Bedouin community in the Negev as a way to improve opportunities for young people by providing an improved science education. 230,000 Bedouin live in the Negev in the south of Israel, with more than two-thirds of this community under the age of 21.
The physical infrastructure and public services of the Bedouin communities are underdeveloped; the employment rate is the lowest in the state; and correspondingly, the education system serving the Negev Bedouin population has failed to sufficiently advance its youth.
The Excellence in Sciences Project initiated by Tamar Centre came as a response to the severe lack of Negev-Bedouin youth who take the five-unit matriculation examination in mathematics, physics, and English. This programme operates as an after-school activity, and in collaboration with schools, the community, and students’ parents, in order to professionally prepare a select group of Bedouin high-school students for the matriculation exams. For four years, from 9th Grade, the students study steadily and diligently for 6 hours a week, at the Tamar Centre. The project helps them to develop the tools and proficiencies necessary to be accepted into prestigious universities. This programme aims to narrow the existing disparities and assist Negev-Bedouin youth to integrate into higher education, the job market and the Israeli society
In addition, The Science Teachers Professional Development Project aims to provide teaching tools for teachers who prepare young Negev Bedouin students for the five-unit matriculation examination in mathematics. This programme was developed by experienced educators in collaboration with professionals from the field of science instruction, and in partnership with the Ministry of Education.