Beach at Bat Yam.
(photo credit: COURTESY BAT YAM MUNICIPALITY)
Following a difficult final month of studies, peppered with strikes held by the Forum of Regional Parents’ Unions in elementary schools across the country in protest of overcrowding in classrooms, some 1.5 million preschool and elementary school pupils begin summer vacation Wednesday morning.
“The summer vacation is not a break from learning, rather a continuation of learning in a different way,” said Education Minister Naftali Bennett in his statement to students on Tuesday.
“Summer vacation is the time to learn about our friends, our values, to invest in our hobbies, and to travel the trails and riverbeds of our beautiful country.”
“Dear students, utilize the vacation, stay safe and come back fresh, with renewed strength. I thank the teachers for a wonderful school year. Have a nice vacation!” concluded Bennett.
The pupils join the 700,000 high school students, who started their vacation 10 days ago. Some 170,000 pupils in first and second grades will take part in the state-subsidized summer vacation school camps, run through their local schools.
As part of the camp, pupils will be exposed to a variety of activities and enrichment programs, including reading activities, sport tournaments, clown shows, museum tours, and more.
In addition, the Education Ministry has added an aspect of patriotic consumerism to the curriculum. Enrichment activities and games surrounding the concept of “buying blue and white” will be introduced, and pupils will learn the meaning of the “made in Israel” symbol on products and the importance of buying Israeli products. In addition to the summer vacation schools, the ministry has planned other programs for children of all ages.
Earlier this month, Bennett announced the ministry will be subsidizing activities for all preschool and elementary school children in Sderot and the Gaza periphery. A wandering “youth city” will visit different cities across the country, bringing sport tournaments, singing performances, arts and crafts, cinema, and more to the youth of the city.
The ministry is also offering “digital camps” – online sessions for fifth- to eighth-grade pupils to keep up their math and English skills over the course of the summer vacation – in addition to digital camps to learn computer game coding, animation, comics, YouTube videos, and other computer skills.
Professionals and volunteers under the auspices of the ministry will be present on buses going down to Eilat, around the city of Eilat, and at beaches around the country to provide support and assistance to youth spending time there, and to help prevent dangerous behavior.
For more information about activities throughout the summer, the ministry has developed the Cool Summer app, which allows users to search according to type of activity, location, age and dates.