School Year Extended:
Education Ministry announces extension of school year

After Education Ministry fails to reach deal with teachers' union, Minister rules that school year will be extended, except for high schools

David Rosenberg ,

Classroom (illustration)
Classroom (illustration)

Israel’s Education Ministry has extended the school year for most students, announcing the decision Sunday evening.

In a joint statement to reporters Sunday, Education Minister Yoav Galant (Likud) and the Education Ministry’s director-general, Shmuel Abuav, announced that the final decision on the extension of the 2019-2020 school year had been made, despite a failure to reach an agreement with the teachers’ association to extend the school year, following the extended break caused by the coronavirus lockdowns.

The Education Ministry had previously reached an agreement with the teachers’ union for the extension of the school year, but union chief Yaffa Ben David threatened not to adhere to the deal if it did not win the backing of the teachers’ association.

The move extends the school year for public elementary schools, kindergartens, and preschools, with all students from preschoolers through sixth graders continuing their studies until July 13th.

In addition, summer school programs for preschoolers, kindergarteners and elementary school students from grades one through four will operate from July 14th through August 6th.

Middle school students and most high school students, including grades seven through ten, will finish the school year on July 1st. High school students in the eleventh and twelfth grades will have classes until this coming Friday, June 19th, followed by preparations for this year’s matriculation exams, which will begin on June 22nd and end on July 27th.

Education Minister Yoav Galant slammed the teachers’ association for its refusal to agree to an extension of the school year, adding that the ministry is prepared to go to a labor court if necessary to ensure that the teachers’ association or teachers’ union do not attempt to abrogate the decision.

“This behavior is unacceptable to us, since we carried out full negotiations with the teachers’ union, and reached an agreement with the them for the restoration of school days [which had been missed earlier due to the coronavirus].”

“The negotiations with the teachers’ association never took, place, unfortunately.”