IDF soldiers after returning to Israel from Gaza August 5, 2014..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
When the new school year kicks off September 1, teachers will be devoting the first two weeks of studies to addressing the conflict that dominated the summer vacation.
All students throughout the country, but particularly those in southern localities, will take part in a number of activities that focus on emotional response as well as strengthening personal resilience, the Education Ministry announced. The ministry said it made the decision due to the security events that marked Operation Protective Edge and resulted in a disruption of the summer holiday.
During the first few days of the school year, teachers will lead discussion sessions in which the students will be able to share their personal experiences, such as what was hard for them and what helped them cope with the experience.
The discussion sessions will also involve creating photo albums about the operation, as well as sharing expectations and dreams.
In addition to the teacher-led discussions, there will also be sessions with guidance counselors and special activities to mark the entrance of new grades into their respective schools – such as kindergarteners, first graders and seventh graders.
Kindergarten teachers will focus on identifying the specific needs of children through observation, according to the ministry. The teachers will be aiming to deepen their knowledge of each child’s unique personality, preferences, tendencies and needs. Helping students process their emotions, the teachers will also particularly help children who have experienced a difficult time to readjust to their routines.
The ministry has also instructed parents to allow their children to bring a favorite object from home during the early weeks of kindergarten.
As far as grade schools are concerned, students will be able to take part in social, volunteer and pressure-relieving activities, such as field days, tours, visits to heritage sites, youth-movement activities, music days, culture days, school happenings, debates, talent shows, video productions and more.
At educational institutions located seven or fewer kilometers from Gaza, students will take part in special activities tailored to their specific experiences.
In particular, they will engage in therapeutic discussions, talking about separation from their families and homes, as well as feelings that their homes have lost strength.
Kindergartens in the region will also make sure to take care of children who have returned to bed-wetting, and will supplement treatment as necessary, the ministry said.