Teachers' Union chairman head Ron Erez on Wednesday morning responded to the Israeli government's management of the Omicron wave of COVID-19, and how its attitude towards schools.
In an interview with 103 FM Radio, Erez said, "They open 'Green Classrooms,' they close it. They forcefully bring teachers to schools with Green Passes, with a vaccination or a test, but students don't have to do tests and don't have to have Green Passes or vaccinations."
"Not only that, we sit sometimes in the presence of a student who then turns to be a confirmed coronavirus case, and they send us to do tests, and then they take that time off our salaries. Even more than that, we pay for the test, sometimes three times a week, because each time it's a different student."
"Another example: The Education Ministry decided to grant autonomy to principals to run their schools as they see fit. This basically means that the ship is sinking and nothing is managing to save it. The captain said in the end, 'Each person for himself,' each school principal should worry about himself."
According to Erez, the chaos is nationwide: "I remember that during the Six Day War or Yom Kippur War there was a person who spoke and sent messages to the public. Here each person says his own opinion. We need one person in the education system who will take the responsibility. He will be spokesperson and he will be the one issuing guidelines. Today there's nothing - yes we do vaccinations in school, or do we not do them? A teacher came today with her five-year-old daughter because the preschool teacher didn't come, the preschool is closed."
"The ones responsible for the educational system are Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton (New Hope) and Knesset Education Committee chair MK Sharren Haskel (New Hope). I am saying clearly: Please take responsibility and don't place it on others. Don't create a mess in which each person does as they see fit. There is no one commander here - with many midwives, the child dies. There are too many midwives who are managing one system."
When asked what he would have done differently, Erez told 103 FM, "To tell you the truth, I don't have a medical background, but according to simple logic, frontal learning in school is preferable to Zoom learning, so I would operate the educational system with all my might, with smaller classrooms and shift A and shift B - some learn in the morning and others in the afternoon. What's happening today is that teachers work double, in the morning they do frontal teaching and in the afternoon they teach the students who are at home, online. We need to split classes, to have shift A and shift B. It's not the end of the world."
"We don't have a leader who can lead the educational system, and in my opinion the Health Minister does not get along with the Education Minister, who does not get along with other ministers. Everyone here is prime minister," he concluded.