Photo Credit: Gershon Elinson / Flash 90
The Orot Etzion school in Efrat reopens. May 3, 2020

Israeli Education Minister Yoav Galant told administrators at a special forum held Wednesday at the Education Ministry that kindergarten, elementary, middle and high school classes in the coming school year will open on time on the first of September, even “in the shadow of the coronavirus.”

Galant told those who attended the gathering that Israeli educators and schools will be prepared to deliver educational content in three different ways in the coming school year, depending on the coronavirus morbidity status in which the various schools find themselves.

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Each locality or region will adopt a different outline, depending upon the degree of morbidity, he said, with the cost of operating this tri-flex plan running at a cost of approximately NIS 1 billion each month.

  • According to the first outline, middle and high school classes will be held as usual but also combined with distance learning as much as possible. Elementary and kindergarten students will learn with improved protection, with floor separators and student segregation in different strata. Galant also instructed the ministry staff to prepare for the installation and implementation of improved digital infrastructure and security measures.
  • According to the second outline, which is modulated in accordance with the severity of the morbidity level, grades 5 through 12 will be taught at home, while grades 1 to 4 will be taught in schools in capsules and in small groups.
  • Kindergartens will learn as usual with but with improved safeguards.
  • The third outline is modulated in accordance with the most severe status of morbidity and extreme outbreak in the area. According to this outline, students in grades 5 through 12 will learn from home. Students in first through fourth grade will study in capsules and small groups, and may even use the empty fifth and sixth grade classrooms to further enhance the social distance requirements during their lessons.

    Each class in the kindergarten level will be divided into two groups; local authorities and the Education Ministry will prepare the high school and upper secondary classrooms, which can be used as additional study spaces for preschoolers as necessary.

    “The existing curriculum will provide basic skills for young students, with the emphasis on language and mathematics,” Galant said, according to Israel’s Channel 12 television news team and the Hebrew-language N12 news outlet. “Hopefully we will be able to curb the spread of the virus but we must prepare for a stringent scenario where it is necessary to operate the education system in the midst of an ongoing outbreak.”

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