The Corona Cabinet unanimously voted on Tuesday night to approve the outline of Education Minister Yoav Galant for the opening of almost all of the education system, two months after it was shut down as part of Israel’s second Coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown.
After a discussion lasting several hours, the cabinet decided that high school students in green and yellow cities with low infection rates will return to school this coming Sunday, and that elementary school students will return to school the following Sunday, December 6.
The move will be accompanied by an increase in the number of (Covid) tests among teaching staff and students.
Galant wrote on Twitter: “Dear students – in good time you are all returning to school – to studies, teachers and friends.”
“Principals and teachers are prepared to open the various educational institutions and together with the health authorities, we will increase the scope of tests for students and teaching staff, to maintain their health. For you, the dearest students of all, all that remains is to prepare the schoolbag,” he added.
The majority of the school system has been learning remotely from home for the past two months, presenting educational, social, and emotional challenges to both teachers and students.
Professor Eran Segal, a scientist at the Weizmann Institute and an expert on the Coronavirus, noted that around the world, an index of five verified new cases per week for 10,000 residents has been defined as a low level of morbidity below which schools can be opened.
Most localities in the general sector meet this criterion, he said.
He further pointed out that since the opening of grades one through four and the other easing in restriction of phase 2 some three weeks, there has been no increase in morbidity in the general public.
Overall, morbidity is stable at all ages, and there is even a decrease in morbidity at ages 0-6.