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Gallant to push to open schools in full right after Independence Day

CM 10/04/2021 1

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Students will not be required to hand their teachers a parent-signed health declaration today when they enter their classrooms. The relief is one of a series of changes passed late Thursday night by the government as it slowly works with health officials to bring students back to school.But Education Minister Yoav Gallant and the heads of the local authorities have said that the process is taking too long. They are calling for an emergency coronavirus cabinet meeting to take place early this week at which they plan to push either to open schools in full or minimally roll out much more substantial reliefs.“Enough of the divided classes and distance learning,” Gallant tweeted late Thursday. “The time has come to fully open up the education system. The emotional, educational and social risk is now 10 times higher than the health risk.”He said he would work to convince his colleagues to remove all restrictions on schools – according to reports as early as right after Independence Day. Israel has kept more of its children out of school throughout the coronavirus pandemic than any other Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development-member country in the world. While in the majority of developed countries, students returned to their classrooms this September, Israeli students remained at home. Between September and the end of January, students of all ages in most OECD studied at least partially in their classrooms. During that same period, in Israel, not a single day of full schooling took place in schools or preschools.

Other changes that students will see on Sunday: Fourth graders will no longer learn in capsules. In addition, in 11th and 12th grade classes where 65% of students are vaccinated, capsules are no longer required. CaCapsules will also be removed for students in grades 7-10 if their schools decide to enroll in the “Defending Education” testing program that screens students for the virus several times per week. And even if they are not in the program, students in grades 7-10 can now learn in up to four capsules, as opposed to the previous two. Students in grades 1-3 who are in afterschool programs can now mix with other classes, as well, in groups of up to 28 kids.Some 5.3 million Israelis have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, including more than 4.9 million who have received two doses. The Health Ministry reported only 221 new cases of coronavirus Saturday night – 0.6% of the people screened were positive. There were 268 people in serious condition. The death toll stood at 6,292.
Source: Jerusalem Post

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