Education Minister Yoav Galant (Likud) on Sunday announced that the current school year (2019/20) will officially end in July, depending on students’ ages. According to the Education Ministry, the decision had been made in collaboration with the Finance Ministry and local governments.
And so, let’s decipher the message together (there are no answers in the back): According to the Education Ministry, kindergartens and elementary schools (grades 1 to 6) will end the year on July 13, which is a Monday, so that plans for family vacation must be held over to the middle of the week.
But that’s not all: preschoolers and grades 1 to 4 will continue their school experience as part of the “Summer Vacation Schools” – a program that will start on July 14 and end August 6.
If you happen to have one child in first grade and another in sixth, your older kid must wait in front of the screen for three weeks, in case you were planning to go on a family vacation. And, naturally, going to school in July and August in Israel, on the edge of the great Arab peninsula, should be lots of fun.
The middle schools (grades 7-10) will graduate on July 1st. High school students (grades 11-12) will continue their preparations for the matriculation exams which will start on June 22 and conclude on July 27. Having learned very little over the past four or so months, this, too, should be a rewarding experience.
Speaking of rewarding experiences, the educational system is preparing for the possibility that the 2020/21 school year would open in the shadow of a second wave of the coronavirus, and that Zoom school would once again be our children access to knowledge. The Education Ministry stressed that Minister Galant has announced a while ago that based on his negotiations with the Finance Ministry’s Wage Commissioner and the Budget Division, teachers will be paid for an hour of distance learning the same amount as for an hour in the classroom.
Minister Galant also warned that “if the teachers’ union persists in its resistance to the plan, steps will be taken to enforce the decision – we will use the tools at our disposal.”
All of which suggests that it is quite possible the entire information above has no bearing on reality. Stay tuned.