Some 1.5 million Israeli schoolchildren in the elementary grades and kindergarten began their summer vacation on Thursday, joining some 800,000 older students in grades 7 to 12 who finished their studies last week.
“Summer school” begins next week for children in kindergarten and grades one to three.
“We sum up the 5782 school year, a year in which Israel’s students returned to school and kindergarten, and met in person with their teachers, classmates and school friends,” said Education Minister Dr. Yifat Shasha-Biton.
“Aside from the return to educational routine, we have advanced significant moves during the year that will affect the education system in the years to come: transferring daycare to the responsibility of the Ministry of Education, management and pedagogical independence for school principals, renewing learning processes and changing and strengthening the matriculation system for heritage, society and humanities subjects. These are subjects that shape our identity and give meaning to our very existence here.”
Among the new programs that is to begin in the coming school year is the study of English from the kindergarten level. The program received a budget allocation of NIS 70 million and enables students in kindergarten through second grade to be exposed to language in an experiential way.
But Shasha-Biton also noted that teachers are still struggling with the Finance Ministry over the issue of a salary raise — and said her ministry supports them.
“Our principals and teachers will lead these moves and therefore we must ensure that the education system will be able to keep them and attract the best into the education system,” she said.
“This is the reason why we are fighting alongside them, until, together, we all be able to change the terms of their wages and their status, for the future of our children’s education.”