A team of researchers from Hebrew University and Hadassah Medical Center submitted a paper on Monday to Education Minister Yoav Galant which asserts that reopening the education system should be one of the first steps taken when emerging from lockdown.
According to the researchers, resuming studies is of utmost importance from the health, social, and economic standpoints. Galant is expected to present the paper to the government’s coronavirus cabinet on Tuesday afternoon.
“An outline for emergence from lockdown must include already at the first stage a resumption of studies for ages one to ten,” the paper states. “Studies should resume with classes divided into halves, without teachers transferring between classes and no mingling of class groupings at after-school programs or other activities. Teachers should also wear masks,” the researchers wrote.
According to the paper, there is ample justification for a resumption of studies for those up to the age of 10: “There is no debate regarding the question of whether children up to the age of 10 are fueling the epidemic – they are not – and therefore, reopening the educational framework for this age group in September was not the reason why the number of coronavirus cases spiked in September.”
On Tuesday morning, Deputy Education Minister Yoav Kish (Likud) spoke with Radio 103 FM and explained why during the second lockdown, as opposed to during the first, the government should be imposing differential restrictions while easing the regulations across the country.
“What we will be focusing on are the red cities,” he clarified. “Red areas will need to remain in lockdown with a minimum of activity until their contagion rate drops. We need to reopen things very slowly and with a great deal of caution and assessment of consequences. If we reopen too fast, we’ll be repeating the mistakes we made in the spring. We are not yet in a stable situation, and the Blue & White party should not be calling for reopening the country,” he criticized. Education Minister Yoav Galant is from the Blue & White party.