To the consternation of students and the joy of their parents, on Tuesday the new school year will officially begin and 2,129,562 will present themselves in schools and kindergartens across Israel.
Some 150,000 of them will head for school for the first time.
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Education Minister Shai Piron visited schools in Netanya on Tuesday morning. Netanyahu told students: "Each and every one of you can excel in his or her own way."
President Shimon Peres visited a Jerusalem school along with Mayor Nir Barkat and MK Tzipi Hotovely. Peres helped first graders cross the street to schools and in a classroom announced: "I'm sure you're excited. The entire nation loves you."
In the new school year 429,177 children will attend public kindergartens, among them 160,940 will go to preschool.
Primary schools will be attended by 957,240 anxious kids, with 148,774 especially excited new first graders.
Junior highs will be attended by 276,526 students and high schools by 385,923.
109,599 will start their last year of public education.
"I'm very excited by the sheer knowledge of the fact that more than two million students and tens of thousands of teachers are going tomorrow to school," Education Minister Shai Piron said Monday night.
"I hope with all my heart that we'll create a good, successful year."
As for children who will not be attending school due to the polio vaccine, Piron said: "We are working on finding a solution, so that eventually every kid gets a proper educational system, even if at home. I feel for the children who stay at home and starting tomorrow will go visit them."
Across Israel, 4,555 schools, among them 164 new institutions, will open their gates - some 64,000 classrooms.
Furthermore, 15,200 kindergartens will also reopen, including 935 new ones. Beside the students, 145,358 education workers – among them 3,832 new teachers and 350 new principles – will walk the halls of learning.
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