Education Ministry: More than 2.3 million children, and 194,000 teachers begin new school year in Israel. Unity in Israeli society, and among Jewish people across the world a central theme for new school year.
Minister Bennett: “The state education system is home to all Israeli students: Jews, Arabs, Druze, Circassians, religious, secular, ultra-Orthodox. They are all my children. Every child in the State of Israel deserves an excellent education and fair opportunity. The coming school year will be held under the banner of “unity”.
Over 2,300,000 students opened the new school year in Israel this morning (Sunday), including 167,000 first grade students, and 131,000 students beginning 12th grade. Alongside them 194,000 teaching staff.
Minister of Education
Naftali Bennett congratulated students and teachers on what he noted was the smoomest opening of the school year for some time and said, “The excitement is at its peak for the opening of another school year. In addition to vast reforms in mathematics and English, this year we will continue to narrow gaps, deepening understanding over memorization, and to expand principals’ freedom to nurture values. Happily, this year too, there will be no strikes, and we are prepared to receive with open arms 2.3 million students who will arrive at schools on Sunday.”
He added: “The state education system is home to all Israeli students. I am the Education Minister of 2.3 million students of all communities: Jews, Arabs, Druze, Circassians, religious, secular, ultra-Orthodox. They are all my children. Every child in the State of Israel deserves an excellent education and fair opportunity. In the face of recent polarization in society, I felt the remedy for this problem was unity and reconciliation through education. Therefore, I decided that the coming school year will be held under the banner of “unity”. We must remember that arguments within the family are fine and healthy, as long as we always remain a family.”
Education Ministry Director-General Shmuel Abuav commented, “We are opening the school year with a series of large and significant announcements. Alongside the largescale national programs around school holidays, as well as maths and English programs, we will equip laboratories with innovative equipment, increase the number of participants in youth movements, and lead a series of changes in order to promote the autonomy of the principals who are the leaders in the educational process.”
As part of the annual theme, in their studies the schools will deal with the issue of unity from two main perspectives: the first, unity among all elements of Israeli society and the second, Jewish Peoplehood and the connection with Diaspora Jewry. The Ministry and the schools are working on formulating the specific content, dialogues, and joint meetings between different groups in Israel society.
In addition, key reforms taking place this year include: greater autonomy for principals, extra staff members in around 6,000 kindergartens, smaller class sizes, and expansion in the studies of mathematics, English, and Hebrew language.
Photo credit: Natan Weil