Education Minister: No reason to close schools

Minister Galant tells Knesset that coronavirus infection rates in educational institutions are now lower than in the general population.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Yoav Galant
Yoav Galant
Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90

Education Minister Yoav Galant addressed the Knesset plenum Wednesday about calls to close Israeli educational institutions in response to the coronavirus crisis.

Galant detailed the low morbidity statistics in schools and kindergartens during the summer vacation. "I will continue to fight for students, teachers and parents. The education system is an anchor of stability for them and for the Israeli economy. I act out of a sense of national responsibility and an overall vision for education, health and the economy."

"The education system under my leadership is not engaged in general assessments but in collecting data, obtaining meanings from this data, and making decisions accordingly. Every student who is infected is documented and his environment is thoroughly examined," the minister added.

"Over the past month we have been closely monitoring the infection data in the education system and the information we have shows that the morbidity rate in the general public is 3 times higher than among children in schools during summer vacation. The proportion of children getting sick is much lower than their share of the population. For the most part, the sources of infection for these age groups are outside educational institutions," he said.

"The stringent guidelines mandated by the Education Ministry have led to a record number of tests, and yet no significant outbreaks have been found [in schools]. In these complex times, I will continue to act out of a sense of national responsibility when considering education, health, and the economy.

"My position at this time is that educational institutions must remain open during summer vacation for the next two weeks as planned," the education minister concluded.