Rivlin salutes teachers for dealing with lockdown, distance learning

President lauds education staff who 'had to learn again how to teach' amidst changes during the pandemic.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Marc Neiman/GPO

President Reuven Rivlin today held a call to salute the teachers who are dealing with the lockdown and distance learning, together with Education Minister Yoav Gallant. The president and the minister spoke with school principals and kindergarten teachers online.

The participants in the call were principal of Even Roshad-Kalansua elementary school Ilham Mara’I, principle of Ashdod’s Mekif Tet junior high school Nofar Kapon, principal of Ulpanat HaGolan in Katzrin Vardit Teperberg, principal of Beit Nezach Yisrael elementary school in Beit Shemesh Shaul Miller and kindergarten teacher Chani Maor from Gan Petel in Ramat Hasharon.

“Teaching and education have become difficult this year not only because of the need to deal with the pupils’ anxiety and uncertainty. Teachers and principals, too, have had to learn again how to teach, how to educate and how to maintain contact. With all these question marks, teachers have had to invent new teaching and evaluation methods that are appropriate for distance learning, to work with online systems and to give educational and personal support through masks and over the phone,” said the president.

“At this point, we can look back over the last year and ask what we have learned. This routine of emergency was forced on us. But there are quite a few things we can learn from it, some lessons we can draw. In the space of months, we have managed to close a gap of years in the field of online and digital learning. We have connected more and more families and pupils to computers and the internet, and they will remain connected even after the crisis is over. We should take advantage of the situation that has arisen and continue to update and improve our digital learning and teaching. Incorporating the techniques of online learning into the classroom and making use of the tools and technology in order to improve our children’s education.”

Education Minister Yoav Gallant stated: “The heroes of the last year are, undoubtedly, Israel’s outstanding teachers and educators. They have worked around the clock to ensure uninterrupted education, social and emotional support for millions of schoolchildren at their various places of education and online. Their work and dedication have opened a window to a better future for all Israel, over this complicated year since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Thank you, Mr. President, for giving time to salute the important work of our teachers over the last year.”

“When I was appointed, one of my main aims was to close the gaps in digital learning in education, based on the view that online learning is a must, and not a privilege for those who can afford it. The national plan we launched – “the digital classroom” – prioritizes closing the gaps in the education system, starting with ensuring that every Israeli schoolchild, regardless of their religion, where they live or socio-economic status, has the best tools to succeed and flourish. With unprecedented levels of funding, we have distributed 150,000 laptops, installed the infrastructure for innovative technology in schools, trained teachers and created a rich and varied database of digital content. I am sure that the ministry of education will come out of this challenging period stronger and on a new path, and will continue to promote educational innovation for the benefit of our wonderful schoolkids, and for the future of the State of Israel,” he added.