The Education Ministry and the Teachers’ Union have reached an agreement on the government’s outline for education during the current phase of the coronavirus epidemic. The agreement was finally reached on Sunday evening, after days of tension, with some teachers threatening to go on strike if they did not feel that their health was sufficiently protected, as they stated.
According to the agreement, both students and teaching staff will be given free antigen tests. In addition, a test that is conducted by a school coronavirus inspector or a local authority coronavirus inspector will be considered an “official” institutional test.
In the special education sector, tests will be conducted on all students, other than those learning in institutions for the mentally handicapped, the developmentally impaired, those with emotional disturbances, those with severe physical handicaps, and students on the autism spectrum. These students will be given test kits to be used by their parents.
In addition, parents’ reporting of test results will be monitored via spot checks, and the Education Ministry will update the Teachers’ Union on the number of reports obtained.
Commenting on the development, Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton said, “I am delighted with the understandings we have reached which recognize the importance of our students getting back to routine while protecting the sense of safety of our teaching staff.”
Teachers’ Union head Yaffa Ben David noted, “We have maintained our position, that the government is obligated to take the health of teaching staff into account, and I am delighted that the representatives of the Education Ministry supported the changes that were introduced into the outline developed.”