Ministry of Education to Shorten Summer Vacation?

Education Minister Rabbi Shai Piron expected to announce decision Thursday whether or not to extend school year by 3 weeks.

Tova Dvorin ,

Education Minister R' Shai Piron (file)
Education Minister R' Shai Piron (file)

A Knesset discussion Thursday regarding the length of the Israeli school year is expected to yield a shorter summer break, analysts say, and an academic year extended by 3 weeks. 

The program, if implemented, would shorten summers beginning this upcoming year, 2014, for first and second grades nationwide. If successful, the year would then be shortened nationwide for the remainder of Israel's students, according to the proposal. 

The proposal first discussed earlier this year would have the school year end on July 21 - almost three weeks later than the current academic year. The next year would resume on September 1, as usual. 

The Ministry of Education would fund most of the extra hours, as per the proposal, but parents may also be expected to contribute a certain amount. Additional fees would be determined on a family-by-family basis, based on socioeconomic status. 

Teachers will also be offered an extension of their summer pay for participating in the program. 

Earlier this year, Education Minister Shai Piron also stated that he would be cutting back on the total number of school vacation days. More than just an educational move, Piron maintained that the extensions of school hours are designed to make life easier for working parents.