Israeli schools to become smartphone-free?

Education Minister promises to work to clear schools of distractions, raise teachers' salaries.

Orly Harari ,

Rabbi Rafi Peretz
Rabbi Rafi Peretz
Noam Ravkin Fanton, Flash 90

Education Minister Rabbi Rafi Peretz (Jewish Home) on Tuesday attended a "Teacher's Day" conference, promising to work to remove distractions from schools.

"On this important day, Teacher's Day, I would like to express my respect and appreciation for your work," Rabbi Peretz said. "Continue to do your work with faith, continue to act with patience, sensitivity, and determination to create the face of society."

Noting the project to reduce gaps in student achievement, he said: "We have expanded this project to additional towns, and we will expand it in the future, placing an emphasis on the mental aspect. You are our emissaries for this process, you are the ones who give students the feeling that there is no glass ceiling in Israel."

"Believe me, I'm familiar with this. I was raised in the '60s in a neighborhood on the edge of Jerusalem. Sitting here are people such as MK [Yakov] Margi (UTJ), who succeeded in breaking the glass ceiling, and this is the message that we need to give Israeli students."

Rabbi Peretz also said the Ministry has decided to remove smartphones from classrooms.

"We have made the decision to remove smartphones from elementary schools, and we are thinking about middle and high schools," he said. "We did this so that the classrooms and learning areas would be free from distractions - and this will make things easier on you, the teachers. We have received excellent feedback from teachers and principals."

Concluding his speech, Rabbi Peretz said: "The status of a teacher needs to be expressed in salaries, and we intend to act on this issue. I see importance in the continued education of the teachers themselves, so that they can lead the next generation. It's important to continue to plant in the younger generation the values of tolerance and love of the land, and to allow all students to maximize their potential while emphasizing a feeling of security and ability."