Minister Rafi Peretz: 'School in July, vacation in August'

Minister of Education Rafi Peretz said teachers couldn't be the only ones going on vacation while everyone else kept working.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Minister Peretz with students
Minister Peretz with students
Netanel Dayan

Minister of Education Rafi Peretz (Yamina) announced Sunday that summer vacation would be shortened and discussed the Ministry of Education's preparations for school studies under the "coronavirus routine".

In an interview with Channel 12, Peretz said that "there will be no escape from school being extended into July." "You can't have everyone else working and only the teachers on vacation. In August, summer vacation will continue as planned," he said.

According to Peretz, as part of upcoming measures to restart the national economy, the Education Ministry is keen on having "kindergartens reopened in small supervised frameworks of 7-8 kids per preschool". He added: "Grades 1-3 will attend classes 4-5 days a week, and grades 4-6 two to three a week - other grades will continue online learning."

Regarding a statement from the teachers' union that they would only agree to work nine days over the span of summer break, the Minister of Education said: "There is an outline that the Treasury has defined, and there is an outline the Union wants to see - we as the Ministry should act as the middle ground and establish a balance between the parties so that teachers know they're getting their salaries—but not all of it."

Regarding the difficulty many students are experiencing in distance learning, Peretz said, "We have tried to offer a very large range of courses on television through Cellcom TV and Hot TV for around a million households – both via smartphones and computers."

"I spoke to the Prime Minister about the need to provide computers to disadvantaged populations such as the haredi and Arab sectors. We are trying to obtain NIS 50 million for this purpose."

Minister Peretz continued: "The plan is to progress to a program of 'one laptop per child', but we are not sure we can make it. Remote learning programs do not require every child to be in front of the computer all the time. They can get an assignment and work on it with the teacher [later in the day]." He clarified, "Students are not obliged use a computer - this is an offer."