Some 80,000 11–12 grade students took the mathematics matriculation exam on Wednesday, during which rocket alarms sounded in several southern localities, including Rehovot, Be'er Sheva, Ashdod and Ashkelon, as well as in the north.
Students all across the country were forced to take the matriculation exam in shelters and protected spaces due to the tense security situation and constant rocket barrages fired from the Gaza Strip.
The Education Ministry announced that all students would receive an additional 30 minutes to complete the test.
The extension will also apply to the 120,000 students who are expected to take the exam at a later date due to the security situation.
Miri Gill, the principal of the Amit Hillel girl’s high school in Rehovot, said: "The alarm was sounded just as 11th-grade students were taking the exam. They continued taking the test from the shelter.”
“I saw resilience in their eyes. With nobility and grace, they continued the exam and conducted themselves in an exemplary and inspiring manner. Today I learned something from my students,” Gill added.
Etty Tsabari, the Principal of the Amit Akko school in Acre, said: “The alarm caught us in the middle of a math test. The students left the classroom and immediately ran to the shelter. Afterward, they returned to the exam room.”
“These are students who have spent nights and days studying in order to succeed. It is obviously inhumanly hard to concentrate and succeed in the given situation,” Tsabari added.
Itzik Huldai, the principal of Brenner High school in Givat Brenner, said: "We asked, and to my delight, we received permission from Home Front Command to hold the exam. About fifteen minutes into the exam, an alarm sounded.”
“All students took the test in our shelters. I am proud that, despite the situation, the students were prepared for the exam and took it, and even during the alarm, they continued to take the test with determination,” said Huldai.
Orna Farber, the principal of Yigal Alon High School in Rishon Lezion added: “After a difficult year of coronavirus, we are now dealing with missiles. That is why it was important for us to calm the children down. We explained to them that if they were afraid — they could take the exam at a later date. We allowed them to decide and we supported them.”
Noam Steinbach, an 11th grader at Yigal Alon High, added: "I hesitated and consulted the teachers who encouraged and supported me. I'm not afraid. The alarms bothered me but I studied as much as possible.”