Next school year in Israel will see students from the third grade and up either studying remotely or in small in-class, groups twice a week, according to the Education Ministry outline published Wednesday.
Education Minister Yoav Galant revealed the plan for reopening of schools on September 1 under the coronavirus restrictions.
"This is a groundbreaking plan on an international scale that was designed with the understanding that schools and educational facilities must be open and operational despite the coronavirus pandemic," Galant said.
According to the plan, kindergartners as well as first and second grade students, will continue to study in their regularly assigned classrooms without major adjustments. Students in third grade and up will be studying in groups of no more than 18 children. Older kids will switch to remote studies done from home or in a combination of in-school and distance learning.
The minister said children from fifth and sixth grades should have in-class studies at least two days a week. Galant added that his plan, which he called "Learning Safely," has the support of the government but will be officially approved only in the coming days.
The plan requires more than four billion shekels to hire additional staff, provide teachers with PPE and address the needs of students requiring special assistance.
Limiting classes to no more than 18 students demands more space and more staff. The ministry indends to hire people who are currently unemployed due to the health crisis and who have at least undergraduate degree and experience working with children. Even tour guides could be suitable for some positions, officials in the ministry said.
In addition, splitting children into small groups would minimize the possibility of virus outbreaks and subsequent quarantine periods for students and staff.
Local government and school administrators will be responsible for providing special assistance to students who require it.