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Israel's Children Return to School

About 2,130,000 children began the new school year. About 150,000 are starting first grade.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 8/27/2013, 9:56 AM

First grade
First grade
Israel news photo: Flash 90

About 2,130,000 students began the new school year Tuesday – 150,000 of them in first grade. A total of 429,177 children are enrolled in the public pre-school system, about 960,000 in elementary school, and another 662,500 in middle and high schools.

A total of 4,555 schools started the school year, 164 of them new. All in all, the classrooms total about 64,000. There are about 15,200 pre-schools, 935 of them new.

The school year began without major hitches. In Sderot, the teachers' organizations in two high schools announced that studies would only begin at 9:00 a.m., in protest of the fact that they did not receive health and clothing allowances. In Jerusalem, parents of pupils at the Gonenim religious school will not send their children to school because, they say, the structure is not fit for use.

The prime minister and the minister of education are opening the new school year with a visit to Netanya. Education Minister Shai Piron will then head for a school in Petach Tikva, where he taught until just under a year ago.