Classroom (illustration)
Classroom (illustration)iStock

The Director-General of the Ministry of Education Shmuel Abuav published a letter to educators and school principals, in which he described measures being taken by the Ministry to prepare for disruptions to schools due to the spread of coronavirus.

"Since we are practical people," he wrote, "our task now is to prepare for what are expected to be significant disruptions to the educational system, as the situation worsens. We hope that it won't actually come to that, but if it does, we all realize that this is a critical juncture in time, and that we have to act in order to minimize the damage to school routines and adherence to the curriculum. The Ministry of Education is developing strategies for dealing with all the possible scenarios, and I am relying on you all, and trusting in your professionalism, your sense of responsibility, and your dedication, in order to meet this challenge in the best possible way.

"There are times in the life of a people when the mission of education becomes secondary to a national goal that is of overriding importance. Now is such a time. Preventing or at least delaying the spread of this virus is a national priority, and in order to attain this goal, we have to utilize all the means available, including the educational system.

"We must remember that with every day that passes, humanity comes to understand the virus better, and we take another step in the battle against it until we overcome it. Therefore, the importance of everything else, including maintaining a normal schedule in our schools, must become secondary to the main effort of preventing mass contagion."

Abuav added: "As of now, the main focus is on keeping classes running smoothly and ensuring minimum exposure to the virus, as well as maintaining contact between staff and pupils who are in quarantine at home. We are monitoring the situation constantly and are developing ways for pupils in quarantine to keep up with their school work via distance learning, in order to minimize the damage caused by missed classes."