ילדים בבית הספר פולה בן גוריון שבירושלים
Children at a Jerusalem school practice coronavirus health guidelines
Photo: Alex Kolomoisky
Teaching union leader Ran Erez

Teaching union boss: Government has no plan for reopening schools

Ran Erez warns start of academic year 'will be a mess' due to lack of Education Ministry preparation, advocates distance learning for older kids but says many without computer or internet access despite ministry budget

Attila Somfalvi |
Published: 07.21.20 , 17:46
The head of the teaching union representing middle and high school teachers said Tuesday that there were no preparations underway to reopen Israel's schools after the summer break, despite Education Minister Yoav Galant's claim that the academic year would begin on September 1.
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  • "The start of the school year will be a mess," Ran Erez told Ynet . "I hope [the Education Ministry] lets local municipalities decide what works for them."
    יושב ראש ארגון המורים רן ארזיושב ראש ארגון המורים רן ארז
    Teaching union leader Ran Erez
    (Photo: Yair Sagi)
    Erez said that preparations for starting the new school year during the virus outbreak should have begun two months ago, but it was now clear that nothing had been done so far.
    "Older students can distant learn but a quarter of them do not have computers," Erez said. "If we want them to learn we must buy them computers and ensure they have proper internet access. The budget for it does exist."
    He also pointed out that students suffering from Attention Deficiency Disorders cannot sit in front of the computer for a full hour and must therefore be offered special learning programs tailored to their needs.
    ילדים בבית הספר פולה בן גוריון שבירושליםילדים בבית הספר פולה בן גוריון שבירושלים
    Children at a Jerusalem school practice coronavirus health guidelines
    (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)
    "The idea of splitting younger students into small groups and have teachers running from one group to another makes no sense," he said.
    "Nor are there enough available structures to house these groups, and the plan to hire students or soldiers to teach our kids cannot be making parents happy that their children's education is in untrained hands."
    אמית איתן בבית הספראמית איתן בבית הספר
    Students wear masks at a boys' school in Ma'ale Adumim
    Erez also raised the likelihood that teachers will be infected by coronavirus and even spread it among their own families.
    "The median age of middle and high school teachers is 50, and many suffer from underlying health concerns and have elderly parents," he said, advocating for distance learning.
    "We want teachers to remain safe," he said.

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