Shimon Peres is one for the record books now. Israel's nonagenarian President will take his place in the Guiness Book of World Records as the lecturer with the biggest civics class in history. On Thursday, Peres, via video, gave a civics class to some 6,700 students in the Amal school system. On hand to certify the results was the Senior Vice President of Guinness World Records, Marco Frigatti.
Peres delivered the class from Netanya, where the Israeli branch of communications and networking company Cisco is located. The lecture, discussing democracy in Israel, was broadcast to students in 215 classes across the country, in cities including Jerusalem, Beersheva, Tel Aviv, Kuseife, Ofakim, Dimona, Hadera, Tiberias, Taibe, Nahariya, and others. Students from both the Arab and Jewish sectors participated in the event, with students gathering in 55 high-tech "smart" classrooms to watch Peres speak in high-definition video.
Speaking to the students, the 91 year old Peres told students that "I am a lot older than you, but also at my age people get emotional, as I am now. Seeing you in the classes is a very emotional experience, as is being a teacher, and being a student, as I am today. I am jealous of you students," Peres said.
"Why is being a student so special? Because you gather knowledge, which stays with you. Money comes and goes, but knowledge always remains. These are two secrets of life you should know," he said.
Ravit Domb, Director of the Amal school system, congratulated the students, saying that the students participating in the event "are the future. Thank you so much for your participation," she said, addressing Peres. "As President, you have always shown us the proper path." She also thanked Cisco, which provided the advanced technology for the event, and Frigatti for coming in to observe the event.
Israel is a world leader in the technology required for a record of this scale and there are currently efforts to introduce the technology into classrooms across the country. The class will be a live example of the technology which will help digitalize education worldwide, reduce the distance between the center of countries and the periphery, reduce inequality in education and allow for lessons to be delivered by leading experts to thousands of pupils at the same time, Cisco said in a statement.