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Back to school Israel-style: By the numbers

CM 30/08/2021


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In just one day, the majority of the country’s students will return to their classrooms after nearly an entire school year spent on Zoom
The combination of anticipation, fear and excitement is palpable throughout the country, with parents posting photos of their last-minute school supply shopping on social media and their final questions in class WhatsApp groups.
“It was not obvious that we would reach September 1 – the opening of the education system,” Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton said on Monday. “However, it was clear to everyone that we could not continue to look at the management of this pandemic only through the lens of physical health. We also had to pay attention to other pandemics that have accompanied us in the past year: an increase in emotional distress, depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts.

A schoolgirl gets a corona test at the Meuchedet Medical Center in Jerusalem on July 22. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)A schoolgirl gets a corona test at the Meuchedet Medical Center in Jerusalem on July 22. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
“The decision to open the year was made in recognition of the great importance of returning children to their school routine, stability and certainty,” she continued. “The education system is a solution, not a problem – it is part of the overall effort to deal with the coronavirus.”
So who is going back to school?
Some 2.46 million Israeli children will go to school on Wednesday, according to numbers shared Monday by the Education Ministry: 538,000 preschoolers, 1,122,000 elementary school students, 315,000 middle schoolers and 483,000 high schoolers.
They will be taught by some 219,000 teachers in 5,360 schools and 79,000 classrooms.
There has been a 26% increase in the number of Israeli students over the last 10 years, from 1.9 million in 2011-2012.
The Education Ministry budget has grown commensurate to the number of students, costing the country more than its defense budget. This year’s budget is NIS 67.1 billion.
A big thrust this year is opening schools in the shadow of coronavirus. As such, the Education and Health ministries rolled out a five-layered plan to protect children and teens, that includes vaccination, serological and rapid antigen testing, among other efforts.Thus far, 53% of students in grades seven through nine have been vaccinated and 81% of high-school students in grades 10 through 12, the Education Ministry said. Some 86% of educational staff have gotten the jab.
More than 343,000 youth have been screened for coronavirus antibodies, among whom some 33,328 were found to have had the virus – around 10%. In areas with the highest rates of infection as many as 20% of students were found positive and in areas with the lowest rates as few as 2%.
On Tuesday, more than two million youth are expected to take a rapid antigen COVID test at home. Sick kids are not supposed to go to school on Wednesday.
“Across the country, distribution centers for rapid corona testing are waiting for you, at local authorities or in schools and kindergartens,” said Education Ministry Director-General Yigal Slovik on Monday. “Performing the test is simple… I call on all of you to collect the kit and test your child on Tuesday, the evening before returning to school.”
If students do get stuck learning at home, how equipped are they to learn?
Fifth grade students returned today to school at the Alomot elementary school in Efrat, where religious and secular students study together. Children in middle school went back to school today following a few weeks of learning from home. February 21, 2021. (credit: GERSHON ELINSON/FLASH90)Fifth grade students returned today to school at the Alomot elementary school in Efrat, where religious and secular students study together. Children in middle school went back to school today following a few weeks of learning from home. February 21, 2021. (credit: GERSHON ELINSON/FLASH90)
Through the Education Ministry’s “Information and Communication Technology” program, some 137,000 students and 12,000 teachers have been provided with laptops and another 51,408 students and teachers with “kosher” phones to help enable at-home studying.
Some 180,000 teachers are connected to provide distance learning.
Middle and high schoolers who live in red cities and have less than 70% of their classmates vaccinated against coronavirus will again have to learn from home.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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CM

The host of Coffee Mouth Scare Crow Show and CEO of 452 Impact, Inc. Here is food for thought. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." John 3:16 "For God so love ed the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall be saved."

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