Yoav Galant
Yoav GalantOlivier Fitoussi/Flash90

Education Minister Yoav Galant (Likud) pushed back Monday against claims that Israeli schools might not be able to begin the school year on time, saying that all grades will begin their studies on September 1st.

Health Ministry Director-General Hezi Levy said in an interview with Galei Tzahal Sunday morning that the school year may begin late this fall for grades four and up.

Levy said that the Health Ministry is considering waiving the requirement for breaking up kindergartens and grades one through three into small self-contained groups or ‘capsules’, allowing them to begin the school year on time, on the first of September.

Grades four and up, however, would be required to learn in ‘capsules’, a requirement he said would likely lead the school year to start late for those grades.

“It is possible that grades four and up won’t return to school on the first of September,” said Levy.

But Education Minister Yoav Galant rejected Levy’s comments, doubling down on his previous claims that the school year will begin on time.

Speaking at a gathering of the Knesset’s Education Committee, Galant said that officials who suggested the school year might not begin on time were “sowing panic”.

“I will say it straight out – education this coming year won’t be perfect, but we have obligations to students and ensuring they have a smooth entry” into the school year.

“It is important for me to foster a sense of cooperation here and responsibility towards the public. The school year will start on the first of September, period. Anyone who says differently is trying to get media attention at the expense of the stability of the system and by sowing public panic.”

“The government has decided that there is absolutely no reason to change” the starting date for the school year.